President’s message, winter 2007

Submitted by Carolyn Rock

What’s the definition of “milestone,” and why does it apply to the Society for Georgia Archaeology this fall? The first answer follows here: Milestone (n) 1. a stone serving as a milepost 2. a significant point in any progress or development. The second answer, why “milestone” applies to SGA: Our first attempt at nominating a site to the Georgia Trust’s 2008 list of 10 Places in Peril has been successful! The task is no longer among our many “in progress” assignments. The list is a done deal, an accomplishment written in “stone” for the annals of history. True to the meaning of “milestone,” however, is that a placement on the 10 Places in Peril is not the final chapter. The listing does not save a site from destruction—it instead propels the effort to the next level, garnering more supporters and more recognition. The listing also encourages us to consider making site nominations a recurring task for SGA. This past effort was spearheaded, researched, prodded and persisted by SGA Board member Terry Jackson, nominating the Sunbury Historic Colonial Town Site. The following statement was quoted from the Georgia Trust press release: “Founded by the Puritans, the 1758-1864 archaeological site of Sunbury in Liberty County was once an important colonial port, trading regionally with Savannah and also with New England and the Caribbean colonies. Later abandoned, Sunbury is one of the few large colonial towns that have not been obliterated or buried under later development. Now high density residential development is taking place on the site; ten years ago one of its two known historic cemeteries was partially bulldozed. The owner of a critical 40-acre tract agreed to donate it but died before changing his will. There are still important areas of the town remaining…. Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.” Thank you, Terry, for a job well done! For more information on the site and the Georgia Trust’s 10 Places in Peril program, visit http:// www.georgiatrust.org/preservation_resources/pip2008.htm.

Other events from this fall included Coastfest and the 2007 Fall Meeting. SGA’s presence at Brunswick’s Coastfest on October 6th once again proved to be a great public outreach tool. About 7000 visitors attended the annual exhibition which boasted over 80 interactive displays by environmental, educational and resource organizations. SGA’s booth provided information about our society and Georgia archaeology, as well as hands-on artifact-sorting trays, pottery design making, and other presentations. Board member Tammy Herron headed up our volunteer crew, including seven members of the Golden Isles Archaeological Society and six students from my anthropology class at Coastal Georgia Community College. Special thanks go to Bill Weaver, Nick Shorey, Bill McNair, Jack Caldwell, Vincent Miller, Jeanie Wilburn, Linda Lane, Kristene Dewitt, Whitney Espinoza, Gerry Herndon, Tatyana Hickman, Michael Robinson, and Becky Silva.

The October 13th Fall Meeting was a resounding success, with over 50 people attending at the new Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center in Buford. Catherine Long did a fantastic job chairing the program, providing refreshments, and slipping away occasionally to supervise a Boy Scout archaeology course! Presentations covered a variety of topics. They are worthy of mention at greater length than I can produce here, so I have included the presentation abstracts beginning on page 5 of this issue of The Profile. At the back of the meeting room was a special display of artifacts and photos of Fort Daniel. After the meeting were optional tours of the Gwinnett Center and a field trip to the fort site.

At the Fall Business Meeting, nearly all chapters were represented when called on to give reports of their activities. I was pleased to hear the variety and intensity of programs taking place across the state, including special presentations, scholarly papers, and volunteer field sessions.

Now on to future events. Mark the date for the Spring 2008 meeting: April 26, 2008, in Atlanta at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The theme will be “Archaeology of Georgia’s Spanish Period: New Discoveries and Improved Understandings.” Several speakers will present their latest research findings. The Fernbank Museum houses the huge collection from the Mission Santa Catalina on St. Catherine’s Island, some of which should be on display by the time of the meeting. Watch for more details on the SGA website and the next Profile—and I hope to see you in Atlanta in the Spring!

The Fall 2008 meeting will take place October 18th in Rome, chaired by Dave Davis of the Chieftains Museum.

By the way, even though the holidays are almost over, perhaps there are still those special people in your life that would love a special gift, whether for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or no special day at all. Students, staff or colleagues having an interest to archaeology can be introduced to SGA through the gift that “keeps on giving”—a year of membership to SGA, providing four Profile newsletters, and two Early Georgia journals—why not? As a student, I would have loved a present such as this.