St. Catherines Island Archaeological Collection at Fernbank

Submitted by Dennis Blanton (

Transfer of the St. Catherines Island Foundation and Edward John Noble Foundation Collection of archaeological material to Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta was begun early in 2004. This very large, high quality archaeological collection was amassed during 30 years of island investigation led by Dr. David Hurst Thomas of the American Museum of Natural History. Dennis Blanton joined Fernbank in July 2005 as Curator of Native American Archaeology to manage the collection and develop new programs.

At Fernbank, the St. Catherines collection will anchor a regional archaeology program, serve as the basis for ambitious new exhibits, and provide content for new educational programming. In addition, it will ultimately be managed as a working collection that will support the research of visiting scholars.

Present work with the collection focuses on organizing and housing the massive quantity of material according to curatorial standards. An overview of the island research and recent progress with the collection is presented on a new Fernbank web page.

Also, a fabulous team of volunteers, including many from the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society membership, have been helping inventory several other large artifact collections that have been donated to Fernbank over the years. The results have been rewarding already as a surprising number of Paleoindian tools from around the state have been identified.

For information about the collection and archaeology at Fernbank please contact Dennis B. Blanton, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-929-6304.