The Potters Field

Written by
Sergio DeSoto

The Potters Field

Written by
Sergio DeSoto

The Potters Field

Written by
Sergio DeSoto

potter's fieldpaupers' grave or common grave is a term for a place for the burial of unknown or indigent people. The term is of Biblical origin, referring to a ground where clay was dug for pottery, later bought by the high priests of Jerusalem

I shot this at the Potter's field for Phoenix Arizona, this is the grave of an unknown child.

These days, most but not every urban area has such a burial ground. In Los Angeles, the bodies of indigents are cremated; unclaimed ashes later are placed in a mass grave. New York City is more the norm: Its potter's field is located on an island in the East River, tended--as in Maricopa County--by prisoners.

Until a few years ago, few other than next of kin and county officials paid any attention to Maricopa County's potter's field. Then, in the mid-1980s, Richard Herrmann--a deacon at St. Agnes Church--and his wife, Gertrude, heard in passing about the county burial site. Read More