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the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
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More Cemetery Questions
Are there reports on cemetery excavations?
Becki excavates one or two grave sites a year and has reports on these. Robert Laroque of Laval University did work on the Rochefort Point French graves in 2000; he will prepare a report on this work.
Cemeteries changed locations as the town grew, as is observed in most urban settings. There had been one on the site of the surgeons' home, Block 3 which was relocated when the house was built. There was later one at the site of the modern museum, which was also moved, and one in Block 40, which was moved to allow for construction of a crenellated wall extending from the Princess Bastion.
The bones found in the fill of the wall of the Princess Bastion, which include a thigh and jawbone, raise interesting questions about the attitude in 18th century Louisbourg toward human remains. There were cases, such as the bones found in 1725 on Beauséjour's concession being removed "solennement," and of the reburial in the King's Chapel of the Duc d'Anville, in which bones were handled with reverence. However other evidence, such as the bones found in the wall fill, indicate that a times human remains were handled quite carelessly. The shallowness of graves and the poor condition of cemeteries also seem to indicate a lack of concern for the condition of human remains. Further research may explain the variance in attitudes.
Sources from the period mention that New Englanders buried their dead under the floorboards of houses during the winter of 45/46. There has been no archaeological evidence of this. There is a record from Louisbourg 1733, during the small pox epidemic, that a woman and her young son were buried under the house of "Jean Martin"
Christopher Moore has published an overview of burials at Louisbourg.