• USF Researchers Begin to Map Headstones, Unmarked Graves and Other Buried Items at Historic Tampa Cemetery

    USF faculty and students will assist the City of Tampa by creating a database of Oaklawn Cemetery


    TAMPA, Fla. (March 23, 2017) – This week faculty and students from the University of South Florida’s Department of Anthropology will begin to survey the underground conditions at Tampa’s historic Oaklawn Cemetery, as part of the initial steps to create a digital database of the site for the City of Tampa.


    The USF researchers will use scientific tools and techniques to locate probable graves and other buried features, such as electrical and water lines, which will help provide the city with an important assessment.  City leaders are working to maintain, document and restore the property, with the possibility of seeking a national historic landmark designation. 


    Beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 24, the USF team will initiate the data collection phase of the project by using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and other non-disturbance recording methods.  After a few weeks of collecting information, the researchers will spend several months using it to create the database.


    The media and general public interested in how scientists conduct this type of survey are invited to the cemetery on Friday afternoon.  Researchers will provide an overview of the project, along with a demonstration of the GPR and gradiometer that will be used at the site.  Oaklawn Cemetery is located at 606 E. Harrison St, Tampa, FL 33602. 


    About the University of South Florida

    The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.