Unmarked grave detection

Don't you just hate it when your timber stakes are ripped out of the ground and you no longer know where that grave was located?
Don't you just hate it when your timber stakes are ripped out of the ground and you no longer know where that grave was located?

Using various geophysical methods, Hunter Geophysics is capable of remotely detecting unmarked human graves. Most of the time, we perform searches using ground-penetrating radar.

Our services are used in cemeteries to prevent old, forgotten graves from being accidentally exhumed when new graves are being dug.

 

The process

unmarkedGraveDetectionSteps

  1. Call Dave the grave Hunter for a quote on 0488 501 261 or 03 9913 2259 (or you may email him if you would like). Please have the following information ready:
    1. How large is the area you want searched (please provide the length and width of the area, in metres).
    2. What is on the ground surface? e.g. long grass, lawn grass, concrete, gravel, is it a road surface, etc.
    3. Are there any trees or plants within the search area?
    4. Are there any headstones or any other obstacle within the search area?
    5. Please email David photographs of the area, clearly showing the location of any obstacles in the area you would like searched.
  2. David will provide you with a written quotation. If you are in Victoria, you may then apply for funding for the project from the Department of Health (and we will even fill in the grant application form for you if you wish).
  3. Once the project is approved by the client and funding is received (where grants are applied for), we obtain all necessary permits (this is particularly relevant for Victorian cemeteries), and then David will book in a date that suits the cemetery for the search to be performed.
  4. The cemetery trust will need to prepare the search area so that it is suitable for the equipment we use. This usually entails mowing the grass and removing any rubbish from the area; more details about this can be found on the last two pages of this template cemetery quote.
  5. The on-site work is performed. We can search an area of dimensions up to 50 metres by 50 metres in a day, assuming there are no obstacles. Obstacles such as trees and headstones will slow down the search speed.
      1. Hunter Geophysics undertaking a GPR survey in a cemetery in Canberra.
        Hunter Geophysics undertaking a GPR survey in a cemetery in Canberra. The equipment is mounted on a push-cart and makes no noise at all.
  6. After the on-site work is done, we return to our office in Melbourne and examine all the data we collected, and write up a report detailing our findings. This process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the size of the search area. You can read some example reports we've written for past clients here.
      1. This map shows the location of unmarked graves (red blobs) in a cemetery.
        This map shows the location of unmarked graves (red blobs) in a cemetery.
  7. After we deliver our final report to you, we can provide you with a quotation to actually mark-out the graves on the ground. The graves are marked out with spray paint and vinyl flooring. This temporary measure allows the cemetery to create permanent markers for the graves (most cemeteries opt to place concrete blocks on the graves).
      1. We spray-paint the location of each grave we find on the ground. This allows cemetery trusts to create more permanent markers, such as concrete slabs.
        We spray-paint the location of each grave we find on the ground. This allows cemetery trusts to create more permanent markers, such as concrete slabs.
  8. For cemeteries in Victoria, we are required under Section 131 and Section 132 of the Heritage Act 1995 to research the history of the cemetery and report our findings to Heritage Victoria. These rules apply to anyone searching for unmarked graves anywhere in Victoria (although we are aware that many of our competitors do not do this). This report is due for submission to Heritage Victoria within twelve months from the completion of all on-site work, and is done in the months after the survey itself. This report is not usually provided to the client, but will be made available upon request.

It is important to note that we do not mark-out the location of unmarked graves until step 7 in the above list. 

 

You can read some example reports we've written for past clients here.

Please call Dave the grave Hunter for a quote on 0488 501 261 or 03 9913 2259 (or you may email him if you prefer).