Bethel Cemetery Project

Wreath and flags placed at headstones during Bethel Cemetery rededication ceremony

Cardno’s cultural resources team excavated and relocated a historic cemetery at the Indianapolis International Airport. The project represents the largest cemetery to ever be archaeologically relocated in the State of Indiana.

The cemetery could not be avoided during essential infrastructure improvements. Cardno worked with the client and regulators on every aspect of the project including:

  • coordination with descendant family members, agencies, and other stakeholders
  • geophysical surveys and archival research
  • thorough excavation of 543 burials
  • detailed analysis of skeletal material and associated artifacts
  • and the recreation of the cemetery at a nearby location as part of the reburial process.

The recreation featured full cleaning of new and broken monuments and the installation of new benches, cornerstones, and memorial markers. Even previously unmarked graves received a headstone.

The airport recently held a rededication ceremony, including tributes for all the removed remains, several of whom were veterans of the U.S. Civil War and the War of 1812. See local media coverage

Another highlight of the project is the Cardno collaboration with three local universities. This provided our team of the highest quality professionals in the industry with opportunities to train advanced students and further means to push the results of this project well beyond basic compliance.