Dr. Nicholas Herrmann of Mississippi State University’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures will speak today at the Plymouth Bluff Center at 2 p.m. on “Mississippi State Asylum Cemetery Project: Reconstructing Life Histories and Identifying the Forgotten.” The program is free to the public at the center located at 2200 Old West Point Road, Columbus.
The Mississippi State Asylum, established in Jackson in 1855, served as the state’s primary mental institution for 80 years. Over the duration of the institution’s operation, tens of thousands of patients were admitted to the hospital and over 8,000 died there. A vast majority of these patients were buried in the asylum cemetery, located today on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus. Beginning in 2012, in coordination with the MSU Cobb Institute of Archaeology, University of Mississippi Center for Archaeological Research and the University Medical Center, a total of 66 burials were excavated at the cemetery because of road construction. This presentation by Herrmann will highlight the archaeological investigations, recent historical research, and laboratory analyses, and he will discuss the important link to the statewide descendant community.
Herrmann received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology focusing on skeletal biology, bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology from the University of Tennessee in 2002. Since 2008, he has been a member of the anthropology faculty at MSU, where he currently is an associate professor. He has worked extensively on historic cemeteries and prehistoric mortuary sites in the southeastern United States as well as in Greece and Cyprus, where he completed a Core Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Fellowship.
This Sunday at the Bluff program is sponsored by the Tombigbee Chapter of Mississippi Archaeology Association in recognition of Mississippi Archaeology Month.
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