Bioarchaeologist Dr. Jeremy Wilson, showing a replica skeleton, will lead the City’s efforts to analyze human remains. Source: WTHR


The Henry Street Bridge project is within and adjacent to the site of Indianapolis’s first cemeteries. The Original Cemetery, or Old Burying Ground, was established in 1821; the Union, or New Burying Ground, was created in the 1830s; the North, or Peck’s, Burying Ground was established in the 1850s; and the last section, Greenlawn Cemetery was created in the 1860s*.

Because the project is within and near the site of the former cemeteries, archaeology is an important element of the Henry Street Bridge project. The City of Indianapolis has assembled an accomplished team of professionals, including researchers, archivists, historians, archaeologists, and bio-archaeologists. These individuals:

  • Hold advanced degrees in their respective fields
  • Bring years of experience in Indiana and Indianapolis history
  • Have experience in exhuming burials in various settings
  • Include a local researcher who has spent years studying the history of the former Greenlawn Cemetery
  • Include an expert in exhuming African American burials

 See the documents approved by the Indiana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the state agency responsible for archaeological impacts.

According to the Monitoring Plan, if human remains, burial objects or grave markers are encountered, work within 100 feet of the discovery will stop, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources/Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (IDNR/DHPA) will be notified of the discovery within two business days as required by Indiana Code (IC) 14-21-1-27 and 29, and they will determine next steps.

After inventory and analysis, recovered human remains and all burial objects and associated items will be stored in a safe and secure facility until proper re-interment in an appropriately dedicated cemetery. The re-interment area will be appropriately recorded, identified, and marked.

*See the draft list of resources consulted to date.

**The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information to inform the public of the status of the archaeology at the relevant site. The information on this site should not be used for any purpose beyond general, informational purposes. The information on this site is believed to be accurate as of the date it was added to the website. As new information is learned over the course of the archaeology and subsequent research, the information on this site may change or become outdated and is subject to change without notice. This information does not have the force or effect of written law or regulation.