President’s Message: Spring 2013

Submitted by Tammy Herron (sgapresident@thesga.org)

sga_logo_cuSpring has sprung, and the little archaeology elves are fast at work gearing up for Georgia Archaeology Month! Did you know that this year marks the twentieth year of our Georgia Archaeology Awareness promotion? With Chip Morgan serving as President, the SGA sponsored the first Georgia Archaeology Awareness Week in May 1994. If memory serves me correctly, the Spring meeting held during that year was the first SGA meeting that I attended—I’ve been hooked ever since! The meeting was held in Columbus, and we enjoyed a barbeque at Uchee Creek Lodge at Fort Benning. Later that evening, our keynote speaker, Mr. William Winn, presented an informative lecture describing Native American plant use in the Chattahoochee Valley. Saturday’s tour included visits to Roods Creek, Florence Marina State Park for a discussion of the historic town of Florence, Yuchi Town, and Fort Mitchell over in Alabama. Hopefully, our advertising efforts will be successful this year, and perhaps we will inspire a number of newcomers— just as I was 20 years ago—as well as many returning friends to once again join us for the upcoming Spring meeting in Macon. By now, each member should have received information about the meeting that will be held on Saturday, May 18th in Macon. The first half of the day will consist of presentations at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Following the Business Meeting, we will indulge in a boxed lunch; then, head over to Ocmulgee National Monument for a tour led by Dan Bigman. The itinerary for the day can be found on the website by clicking here. I am looking forward to the presentations and to the tour at Ocmulgee, and I hope you are as well. Attendees will have time to tour the new exhibits at Ocmulgee and are encouraged to visit Fort Hawkins as well.

Our theme for Georgia Archaeology Month 2013 is “Celebrating 20 Years of Georgia Archaeology Awareness: Digging and Diving into the Past.” We feel that the theme and poster design this year will tie in nicely with the Summer Reading Program sponsored by the Georgia Public Library Service. Their themes this year include: “Dig into Reading” for children; “Beneath the Surface” for teens; and “Groundbreaking Reads” for adults. How much better could archaeology tie in than that? Materials associated with Georgia Archaeology Month will once again be distributed to middle schools across the state, and will be available online. I wish to extend special thanks to our co-sponsors for assisting in our efforts to further the Society’s vision of reaching out to all Georgians and helping them understand the significance of archaeological sites so that they support archaeological preservation, education, and research. Our co-sponsors this year are Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc., Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns, Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists, Historic Preservation Division – Georgia Department of Natural Resources, LAMAR Institute, New South Associates, and TRC, Inc. Without the support of organizations such as these, we would not be able to reach as many members of the public as we do!

Visit the SGA’s website to view the calendar of events detailing lectures, exhibits, archaeology days, and tours that will be taking place around the state throughout the month of May. Please make copies and distribute them around your local area if possible. Special thanks are extended to the organizations sponsoring these interesting and informative events across the state. Sponsors for these events include the Augusta Archaeological Society, Augusta Museum of History, Chieftains Museum, Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, Federal Highway Administration, Funk Heritage Center of Reinhardt University, Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Southern University’s Archaeology Team, Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society, Magnolia Springs State Park, New South Associates, and the Twin Lakes Library System. Lectures, exhibits, archaeology days, and tours such as these serve to further the SGA’s mission to unite all persons interested in the archaeology of Georgia and to work actively to preserve, study, and interpret Georgia’s historic and prehistoric remains.

There a few other notable reasons to attend the Spring Meeting on May 18th. First, Guest Editor Sammy Smith has been working fastidiously to have the Spring issue of Early Georgia available at the meeting. The issue—The Profile Papers II—is at the printer as I am writing this article and will include selected research articles from the 1992-2009 issues of The Profile. I think it fitting that this publication is coming to fruition just over 20 years since The Profile Papers came into being, as well as during the time that the SGA is celebrating 20 years of Georgia Archaeology Awareness promotions across the state. Second, we are currently working on the design for a new t-shirt to commemorate the twentieth year of our Georgia Archaeology Awareness promotion! So, be there, or be square.

On a different front, I hope that you have been monitoring the progress that has been made with regard to keeping the Georgia Archives open, and wish to thank all of those who answered the Call to Action by contacting your local legislators. The Georgia Archives holds vast treasures regarding the history of the state, and these resources are vital to archaeological research in particular. The Coalition to Preserve the Georgia Archives has proudly announced that the bill to transfer the administration of the Georgia Archives to the Board of Regents was passed by both houses of the Georgia legislature unanimously. The transfer will be effective July 1, 2013. Many decisions wait to be made as the transfer takes effect, so please be at the ready should there be another Call to Action.

Please take time to renew your membership for 2013 if you have not already done so. In this fast-paced world it is very easy to overlook such things, and I am usually one of the guilty ones. Please remember to notify the parent organization about events that your local chapter is sponsoring, meeting times and guest speaker presentations, information about field trips to archaeological sites, and so forth. I thank you for your continued support of the SGA and look forward to seeing you in Macon!

Sincerely,
Tammy F. Herron, President
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