New SGA chapter in Dahlonega

Submitted by Jack T. Wynn (jtmfwynn@windstream.net)

GMAS » BRAG + NoGAG

There is both bad news and good news in the story of SGA’s chapters. First the bad news: sadly, the Georgia Mountains Archaeological Society (GMAS) in Gainesville is no more. The good news is that there is a new SGA chapter rising in north Georgia. The Blue Ridge Archaeology Guild (BRAG) is meeting on the third Thursday each month at North Georgia College and State University (NGCSU) at 7:00 pm in Young Hall.

The new club is made up of community members from Dahlonega and the surrounding area, and meets regularly with the newly-formed student club, the North Georgia Archaeology Guild (NoGAG). Each group has 20–25 potential members on their mailing lists. Since both groups are still in the formative stages, actual membership is hard to define, but it is expected that each will have 15–20 members. They will undertake projects together as they become available. Their differing schedules will allow different members of the two groups to work on various projects, depending on the time of year, semester calendars, holidays, and so on, throughout the year.

BRAG officers include Jason Norsworthy, President; Rob Jones, VP; Beni Gail Head, Secretary; and Gary Northcutt, Treasurer. NoGAG officers are Kyle Duncan, President; Megan Parks, VP; Ginni Walker, Secretary; and Amber Cannon, Treasurer. Drs. Jack Wynn and Tamara Spike are the professional advisors for the groups. By-laws are being prepared for BRAG, to be adopted shortly and submitted to the SGA for approval as a new chapter. By-laws for NoGAG are being reviewed by committees within the University for acceptance as an official University student club.

The clubs began monthly meetings in late August, 2009. So far, the initial programs have been general how-to sessions. One person called them “Archaeology 101 classes.” They have included impromptu talks about Georgia archaeology and prehistory, artifact identification, methods and techniques, and ethics, and lively discussions of what the members want to learn and to do. Those attendees who had not seen it were encouraged to read the Dickens and McKinley book, “Frontiers in the Soil, The Archaeology of Georgia,” from the Carl Vinson Institute at UGA, which they can order online.

The groups worked together to assist Forest Service Archaeologist Becky Bruce-Vaughters in preparing a total station map of CCC Camp Woody (GA F-1) in the Suches community of Union County, on October 31. Later they will assist her in surveying new wildlife openings in the mountains. Additional field and laboratory projects are planned for December and after the New Year begins.

The creation of these two new groups was announced at the Fall SGA meeting at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center in October.

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