Report on GPR survey conducted during 2010 fall meeting now available online

Submitted by Kelly Woodard (kelly@thesga.org)

Did you attend the Fall 2010 meeting? Did you help Dan Elliott with the GPR survey at Gascoigne Bluff on St. Simons Island? Now, you can read his report and see maps of the results of the survey.

The report, GPR Survey at Gascoigne Bluff, St. Simmons Island, Georgia presents the findings of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey conducted during the SGA’s 2010 fall meeting. GPR survey of a portion of Gascoigne Bluff on St. Simons Island was completed on October 16, 2010. Report author and SGA member Dan Elliott was assisted by SGA members in completing the survey. This project was a joint public outreach and research effort by the LAMAR Institute, the Society for Georgia Archaeology, and the Cassina Garden Club.

The public participated in data collection that was post-processed to create a series of maps to reveal the subsurface characteristics of the study site. The study site was a 40 meter by 15 meter area immediately southeast of the garden gate that encloses the two tabby dwellings, which are the last standing remnants of the enslaved quarter of James Hamilton’s plantation.

Although GPR does not provide a complete understanding of the subsurface environment, the interpretation of GPR data is an advancing science. The application of GPR technology is recommended for future studies where a non-intrusive means is desired to map subsurface cultural landscapes. 

What this preliminary survey on a portion of the Gascoigne Bluff revealed is a complex subsurface landscape that, according to Dan Elliot, begs for understanding. Elliot adds, “the mysteries and human drama that are locked in the soil can be addressed through competent archaeological investigation. GPR survey helps to provide a map in charting a course for conservative excavations and responsible site stewardship.”

To view more of The Lamar Institute’s archaeological report click here.