Report from the Office of the State Archaeologist

Submitted by David Crass (

I’m pleased to announce that the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography has been awarded a second Coastal Incentive Grant to study the effects of natural erosion on archaeological sites. The initial study targeted sites located on the back sides of our barrier islands and was completed last year. The upcoming study will examine sites on our back-barrier islands (“hammocks”). Dr. Clark Alexander, Director of the Georgia Southern University Advanced Coastal Research Laboratory, wrote the proposal. DNR will provide a match for this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)- funded grant; much of the fieldwork will be carried out by Deputy State Archaeologist-Underwater, Chris McCabe. A redacted version of the barrier island study is available on the DNR website at Planning also continues for further study of USS/CSS Water Witch, discovered last fall by Georgia Department of Transportation and DNR working with Tidewater Atlantic Research, as well as a Georgia shipwrecks survey. Deputy State Archaeologist-Underwater, Chris McCabe is spearheading these various initiatives as well as others with the support this summer of intern Steve Dilk. Dilk has been accepted into the East Carolina University Maritime History graduate program after graduation from SUNY-Rochester.

Christine Neal is working with Bill Hover of our Technical Services Unit on a template for cemetery preservation planning. The template, along with several technical briefs, will be posted on our website when complete later this calendar year.

Ryan Kennedy is currently developing an overview of recent sponsored research on DNR lands for the website as well. He successfully defended his Master’s Thesis on a Long Island Dutch/Anglo plantation in May. Congratulations, Ryan!

Jenn Bedell is planning a workshop on Sapelo Island that will take place later this fall. The workshop will bring together all the researchers working on the island for two days of presentations and field visits. Dr. Nick Honerkamp has volunteered to edit an Early Georgia volume on the proceedings, and we anticipate the development of a website as well to update both our peers and the public. Over the last several years archaeological research has been very productive, with significant findings at sites associated with the early and terminal Mission Periods, the Shell Rings, Chocolate and High Point Plantations, and Little Sapelo Island.

Bob Entorf is gradually taking over some coordination duties for sponsored research in addition to his Section 106 review duties. Bob also serves as the Unit Muse.

Finally, I am privileged to have been asked by Commissioner Holcomb to assume several additional duties as part of a promotion to Deputy Division Director. These duties primarily involve financial management and contact with the Commissioner’s Office. I will keep my duties and title as State Archaeologist.