GARS investigates Berkmar “mystery” site

Submitted by James D'Angelo (

Editor’s note: On 2 May 2011, received this communique from Jim about activities over the weekend by members of the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS)….

We had great weather on Saturday and got a lot done at the Berkmar “mystery” site—this was part of the old Wynne-Russell Plantation but is now Berkmar Middle School, Gwinnett County property—clearing brush and the cut bedrock channel in preparation for the May 14 recordation of the site. With about 2–3 hours of work left to get the site in ideal condition for recording, we plan to go out again this Saturday (May 7) weather permitting, 10–1PM.

GARS members work on mystery site 2011 05

The photograph shows Delana (the worker) and Wayne, John, and I (the supervisors in new GARS T-shirts) clearing out the water channel cut into bedrock.

The latest thinking on the “mystery” is that this was most likely a water-power site, but not for a Flutter Wheel as I previously speculated, but for a Breast Wheel as there seems to be a wheel pit also partially cut into the bed-rock just below the channel.

Please remember our program with Brad Quinn that has been moved to May 18 (from May 10). As one of our three* Georgia Archaeology Month 2011 activities that focuses on this year’s Archaeology Month theme, the Civil War, Brad’s talk on his work identifying unknown soldiers buried at the Marietta National Cemetery is something you will not want to miss. Let’s make every effort to have a good turnout and help to spread the word!

(*) The other two are: An Introduction to Archaeology and Fort Daniel for Fort Daniel ES third and fifth graders on May 4, and archaeological recordation of the Berkmar (or should we be calling it the “Wynne-Russell?”) “mystery” site with Berkmar MS 8th graders on May 14.