December 21, 2017

Dear Diary,

OK, Diary, here is your fall riddle…

What has 7,700 people, snakes, cannons, hamburgers, fish, art, 18th century colonists, kayaks, hawks, free things, AND archaeology? You are right, it is CoastFest!

Now that fall is drawing to a close, it’s the perfect time to tell you about one of my favorite fall events. I know you remember that I am invited every October to CoastFest, hosted by the Georgia Department of Resources in Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia. Well, to be honest with you Diary, I am not sure they could have it without me. I mean, yeah they have lots of cool stuff, like our immediate festival neighbors – the taxidermy animals and deer (looking like a deer in the headlights, if you know what I mean), and the swimming pool full of kayaks, and the magician performing under the tent. But is it really a festival without an ArchaeoBus? Fortunately, I cleared my busy schedule just to attend, so CoastFest could go on for its 22nd year. I send a big shout out to New South Associates’ Scott Morris and Susan Olin, who got me to the coast in time for my star appearance, and to Jenna Pirtle for helping with logistics! Hooray!

I had my place of honor just outside the festival grounds, attracting people to the gates. My old handlers, Veronica and Tammy H. set me up in record time. I tell you Diary, it was like homecoming working with them again! And then other helpers showed up throughout the morning, like old and new volunteers from the Golden Isles Archaeological Society, Mary Jo Davis, Elizabeth Murphy, Vincent (Vinnie) Miller, and Kay and George Ellis. In addition, four energetic graduate students worked with me all day. Kelly Westfield from Armstrong Atlantic University, and Rhianna Bennett, Drew Antonisse, and Colin Partridge all from Georgia Southern University made the trek down here JUST to help show me off to festival visitors! They all did a grand job of sharing my fun interactives with kids and adults, while secretly teaching everyone important things about archaeology and preservation. With graduate students like this, I feel better about the future of archaeology and the world!

Diary, I only worked 8 hours today, but in that period, all those volunteers put in over a week of time, working 54.5 hours just to share me with the public. It sure feels good having groupies like that keeping me center stage! Between 9 am and 4 pm, 7,700 men, women and children came through the CoastFest gates! Yep, another successful CoastFest, thanks to yours truly. Diary I will leave you with these photographs below to enjoy until next CoastFest.

Figure 1. Discovering socio-economics through puzzle pieces.

Figure 2. Getting a helping hand at identifying seeds, pollen, and phytoliths from archaeological sites.

Figure 3. All hands on deck, inside the ArchaeoBus!

Figure 4. For $10,000 (or was it a free archaeology poster?) can you spin the wheel and answer this question?

Figure 5. Soft pelts and hard rocks, Native American artifacts and archaeology to explore.

Figure 6. If you think all the interactives under the tent are cool, you should go inside the ArchaeoBus!

Figure 7.Tools for Native American pottery decorating.

Figure 8. Step right up and try your hand at pollen analysis!