• Researchers have used ground-penetrating radar to find unmarked burials. (Flinders University)Source: Flinders University
South Australian archaeologists have used subsurface imaging technology to assist community groups map unmarked graves in Victoria.

Unmarked graves in a western Victorian cemetery have been revealed by South Australian archaeologists using non-invasive technology to map them out.

Flinders University researchers used subsurface imaging technology at the 26 marked graves at Lake Condah Mission Cemetery before uncovering an extra 14 likely unmarked sites, plus 49 other areas which may contain one or more unmarked burials.

Senior Research Fellow Ian Moffat, who led the group using Ground Penetrating Radar and GPS surveys, said the cemetery was an important site for the Gunditjmara community and was believed to house 100-plus graves.

"Many Australian Indigenous communities are anxious not to disturb graves, so this survey provides useful information to assist the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Corporation in planning future burials within this cemetery by identifying large areas which are free of graves," Dr Moffat said in a statement.

"This is an important outcome for managing the cultural heritage of the cemetery because it identifies areas where new graves can be emplaced in a culturally appropriate fashion."

The corporation's chief executive Damein Bell said elders had shared their knowledge of the site with researchers and the unknown gravesites of ancestors had since been marked.

Dr Moffat hopes the technology will be able to be used to effectively manage heritage sites containing unmarked graves, and will be used at other cemeteries in coming weeks.

The Journal of the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria published the research paper.