GAAS teams with the Flat Rock Archive

Beginning in May 2008, members of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society have participated in a project complete with a sense of historic preservation and civic responsibility. Dedicating time and tools, members of GAAS have teamed up with the Flat Rock Archive in Lithonia, Georgia, to help in the restoration and documentation of the historic Flat Rock cemetery.

The African-American community of Flat Rock, Georgia, was established in the first half of the 1800s as a product of three large plantations. Although it has not appeared on a map since the end of the Civil War, the community persists in the area to this day. Overgrown and surrounded by new development, the Flat Rock cemetery is the resting place of members of the community dating back to the era of slavery and into the 1950s, including African-American veterans from the Civil War through World War II.

GAAS members have enthusiastically joined the President of the Flat Rock Archive, Johnny Waits, and documentary filmmakers, Eddy Anderson and Michael Face, in the on-going effort to restore and protect the Flat Rock cemetery. To date, we have removed barbed wire, cut trees, pulled vines and raked leaves that have hidden the cemetery for years. Over one third of the cemetery has been completely cleared of undergrowth but the project is still in progress. Aided by students and professors from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Georgia State University, goals for the cemetery project include digital mapping, photo-documentation, and historical research.

For information regarding the Flat Rock Archive and cemetery, please visit www.flatrockarchive.org. For more information regarding the GAAS involvement in the cemetery project, please contact Kate Jackson at kathryn.jackson@fernbankmuseum.org or at (404) 929-6414.