AAS members host Archaeology Identification Day

May 23 was a great Archaeology Identification Day in Augusta. Rain threatened all day long but in the end, there were 160 visitors who came to the 1797 Ezekiel Harris House on Broad Street. Roughly 15 people brought in artifacts to identify and several AAS members brought in frames of artifacts for display.Inside the Ezekiel-Harris House
AAS Member Manning the Display at ID DayFort Gordon Representative at ID Day

Archaeologists with expertise spanning the Paleo-Indian through Historic periods were on hand to identify and classify artifacts and artifact collections. Several Paleo-Indian and Dalton period projectile points were formally recorded. Artifacts from local sites were on display.

Atlatl Action ShotA Cub Scout Learns about Flint KnappingOn Display at the Augusta ID Day
Atlatl throwing went on for most of the day, and the flint-knappers thoroughly enjoyed working with each other, comparing notes and ideas while entertaining the public. Visitors got to see educational displays by the Savannah River Site Archaeological Research Team and the Cultural Research project at Fort Gordon.

In other news, Danny Greenway, John Arena, David Black, Bobby Strange and John Whatley met with Smithsonian archaeologist Dennis Stanford and Dr. Al Goodyear’s group at the Clariant Chemical Company picnic area on Saturday May 31. Clovis and pre-Clovis sites and artifacts were discussed and Dr. Stanford looked at a lot of material from local Georgia collections. The possibility that some artifacts could point to a European Solutrean connection was discussed. On Monday evening June 1, Dr. Stanford gave a more formal presentation covering his theory of a Solutrean migration to eastern North America. This program covered a number of pre-Clovis sites in eastern North America including dates and photos of artifacts. Of particular interest was a large bi-point blade dredged off the Virginia coast associated with mastodon remains dated to over 22,000 years before present. Danny Greenway, Emory Fennell, Bobby Strange and John Whatley attended this session.

The AAS continues to help the Archaeological Conservancy with checking on the Stallings Island status in order to do what we can to help with the care and preservation. Diane Black and John and Andrea Whatley met with Mark Michael, Conservancy President from Albuquerque, and Jessica Crawford, Southeast Regional Director on April 22. At that point it appeared that all the goats placed on the island to browse off vegetation had been killed by predators. A later visit by Jessica Crawford and George Lowery during which they laid down more barbed wire on the bottom of the fence turned up two surviving goats. We plan to manage herbicide spraying and support the Conservancy in their future plans.

Speaking of goats, John Whatley and Bobby Strange worked with local collectors identifying artifacts at the Goat-A-Rama in Tennille April 11. Rosanne Stutts sent electronic copies of our Central Savannah River Area hafted bi-face guide to collectors contacted at this event. Contacts from the Goat-A-Rama led to a follow up with collectors on May 9 at the home of Charles Denton in Deepstep, GA. We were joined that day by archaeologist Jerald Ledbetter and primitive skills technologist Scott Jones. John Whatley worked with the Ocmulgee Archaeological Society at an artifact identification day in Gordon on April 18.

University of South Carolina archaeologist Adam King spoke to our group at our April 17 meeting concerning remote sensing at Etowah and Macon Plateau. The mapping results shown from the remote sensing data at Etowah were truly amazing. At the meeting that evening, copies of Jerald Ledbetter’s 1995 report on the Mill Branch site in Warren County, were distributed, courtesy of Virginia Horak of the Park Service’s Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee.

Our next scheduled meeting will be Friday evening August 21 at Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Q, 2821 Washington Road in Augusta. Our speaker will be Augusta historian and Director of the Center for Georgia History Study at Augusta State University, Lee Ann Caldwell.