Zion Cemetery

Ground penetrating radar used to locate graves

Cardno is assisting the City of Tampa Housing Authority (THA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the ongoing project involving the location and surveying of an erased segregation era African-American cemetery on the property of a public housing development.

Cardno staff are working for the THA on this project and have helped create and serve on an Advisory Board that includes the descendant community, Robles Park Village residents, community members and activists, as well as the City of Tampa and community leaders.

Cardno’s archaeological experts developed a work plan in close collaboration with the Advisory Committee to perform historic background research, lost cemetery documentation and mapping, GPR, geophysical survey analysis, and accurate documentation of extant cemetery boundaries.

Ongoing work will include laser-scanning, photogrammetry, and other techniques to accurately document cemetery discoveries, as well as assisting in the development of plans for a cemetery memorial. The team has already uncovered dozens of coffin stains and burial goods demonstrating the presence of coffins on the property.

Cardno has extensive experience navigating the laws that guide the management and protection of cemeteries and other cultural/archaeological resources.

The project has seen a great deal of accurate media coverage at the request of the landowner and the descendent community.