Submitted by Catherine Long (email@example.com)
On Saturday, October 22, 2011, a cool fall day welcomed attendees and presenters to the SGA Meeting in Athens. The Zell B. Miller Center at the University of Georgia campus was the location of the day. Students and staff from the Department of Anthropology joined SGA members, professionals and the general public for a day filled with presentations featuring current research in Georgia.
The day was kicked off by the introduction of Dr. Jack Wynn who served as facilitator for the program that was put together by Lynn Pietak. Kevin Kiernan provided an examination of research at the Evelyn Plantation in Glynn County by Preston Holder and showcased stunning pictures. A review of the interpretation of excavations at Upatoi Town was presented by colleagues at Southern Research and suggested evidence a potential trading post. Shedding light on recent developments for the Regionally Important Resources Plan, Terry Jackson shared a recommendation of how to communicate information about archaeological sites that is proactive to the planning process but protects the sensitivity of this information. He urged local SGA chapters to become involved and learn about when their local regional commission plans were scheduled to be updated. Research on early industrial development in Carroll County reviewed the technology and resources needed to run several different types of mills (cotton, grist, thread, etc.). The remains of these industries were documented and more information may be obtained online here. Brad Botwick of New South Associates provided an insight into the historic context published on the mineral industries of north Georgia. Attendees were intrigued to learn of the four stages of mining and enjoyed pictures of these industries.
A short Business Meeting featured updates from the SGA Board and Officers meeting the previous day. SGA received a $500.00 donation from The Lacy Foundation to support its ongoing mission and educational opportunities through the Endowment. This is a significant contribution of which SGA is greatly appreciative of. Online registration is in the process of being secured and is hoped to be up and running for 2012. Plans for Archaeology Month 2012 are underway and will focus on the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and the lesson plan will focus on the archaeological work being carried out by the Fort Daniel Foundation. (It is interesting to point out that many of these members are members of SGA’s local chapter the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society). A field trip to visit Fort Daniel and another potential site is in the works and a meeting location in Gwinnett County is being confirmed.
Appreciation was expressed to those who made the day possible—the Department of Anthropology, Lynn Pietak, Jared Wood and Jack Wynn. Chapter updates were provided by those members in attendance. It is always exciting to hear the current activities and news. The month of October was very busy for public education opportunities. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped at these events across the state—SGA was able to reach the following: 9000 attendees at the annual CoastFest program and over 438,000 attendees at the Georgia National Fair. Additional outreach opportunities were featured at Fort Hawkins and Fort Daniel (Frontier Faire) and the Social Studies conference in Athens. The ArchaeoBus (Abby) has been very busy this month!
During the lunch break, friends and colleagues caught up with each other and enjoyed the local cuisine of the downtown restaurants and cafes. Issues of Early Georgia, t-shirts and SGA coffee mugs were for sale and memberships were renewed for 2012.
The afternoon session featured a presentation on the history of the relationship between the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia and the development of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. It was quite a treat to see the leaders who helped in the establishment of Georgia archaeology! Richard Moss reported on his thesis research involving the Swords Bridge Site and Terry Powis presented on the challenges in identifying the variety of chert sources and resources in Northwest Georgia. By comparing nineteenth century forts and supporting documentation Jim D’Angelo and Wayne Waldrip discovered that many of these forts were based on the same fort model. Geophysical research at Ocmulgee by Daniel Bigman included the review of previously offered interpretations of this early Mississippian occupation. Matt Tankersley reported on Georgia’s historic streetcars and provided a history of streetcars in the Atlanta area (during the nineteenth and twentieth century) and how they changed over time. Historic photographs of these different types of streetcars and current photographs showing evidence of the old rail lines were fascinating. After a day of scholarly presentations the audience retired to dinner plans and the auction.
The Audacious Archaeology Auction was held Saturday evening at the Terrapin Brewery in Athens, Georgia. Meeting attendees and the general public joined in the fun of receiving a number and bidding on unique items both in a silent auction and live auction format. And of course the beer! Cornel Wilbur C. Mull was the guest auctioneer and entertained the crowd with his enthusiasm. The night sped by quickly and the evening ended successfully for SGA. After expenses the total raised for the Endowment Fund was $1424.87.
The Auction Committee was led by Rita Elliott and Matt Newberry, Leslie Perry, Starr Wright, Joel Jones, and Rick Sellers. Thank you all for your hard work on this endeavor to continue to support public outreach educational initiatives and the preservation of archaeological sites!