Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology


Rural cemeteries reflect local culture history. Cultural preferences and attitudes are expressed in the fixtures of cemeteries, tombstones, tombstone arrangement, and cemetery landscaping. The pattern of rural cemeteries can reveal the dynamics of population and settlement, and cultural origins and dispersals. The rural cemeteries of Saunders County, Nebraska, were studied in the summer of 1978 in order to 1) map the relative location of the cemeteries; 2) determine the pattern of growth and development of the cemeteries; 3) establish a working taxonomic system of cemetery size and character; 4) interpret the cultural phenomena related to rural cemeteries; 5) determine distinctive landscape features of rural cemeteries; and 6) to fill a gap in geographic research. The result of such intensive study of the geography of rural cemeteries is a better "feel" for the larger cultural landscape in which rural cemeteries are embedded.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Geography/Geology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1979, Gordon M. Riedesel

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