Recently, New South Associates was contracted by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to recover, analyze, and relocate the Avondale Burial Place in southern Bibb County. Fieldwork discovered 101 individuals. Later analysis, including historical research, indicates the burial ground was most heavily used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, although there are indicators that this location began as a slave cemetery and was subsequently used by African American tenant farmers. View an excellent video about this important project that’s in the full story.
Tag: African-American history
The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, Inc. and Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division (HPD) are partnering in a public archaeology project at the Lyon Farm in DeKalb County. The public is invited to attend and participate in excavations planned over two weekends in 2012. Fieldwork is designed to 1) locate cabins that housed slaves prior to the Civil War; and 2) uncover evidence of Creek settlement prior to the establishment of Lyon Farm around 1800. You must notify HPD ahead of time if you want to participate in this fieldwork.
SGA Board Member and Golden Isles Chapter member Kevin Kiernan provides an update on the many research projects Golden Isles members have underway. Activities include searching for a Spanish mission, examining Kelvin culture houses, and systematic studies of the Harrington Graded School, the last surviving segregated school on St. Simons Island. Check out links to other stories about Golden Isles member activities, including in the Jacksonville Times-Union and a DNR newsletter.
Jeanne Cyriaque, African American Programs Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division has notified the SGA about the launch of “African American Voices,” Oakland Cemetery’s first cell phone walking tour, which consists of twelve burial sites, located in the African American burial section of the cemetery.
Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s remains have been buried twice? At his funeral in 1968, they were buried at South-View Cemetery on the south side of Atlanta. Then, in 1977, Dr. King’s remains were moved to the famous marble tomb at the King Center that is part of the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. These events were accompanied by important rituals. Rituals are important components of cultural behavior, but they preserve poorly—and at best incompletely—in archaeological contexts. What are the implications of this for reconstructions of the past based on archaeological data?
Augusta followed some of the broader trends of urbanization experienced across the USA in the 19th century. As the city spread from its original core area, it took on many characteristics of a modern city, including residential neighborhoods that were divided based on class, race, or other attributes. In this example, a planned residential development specifically incorporated prevailing social ideologies at the turn of the century. The development was designed and built to separate residents on the basis of race and class, which helped to reinforce ideologies of the appropriate racial and economic social positions and roles.
The Flat Rock Cemetery in Lithonia displays the widespread rural African-American custom of burying the dead with simple fieldstones placed at the head and foot of the interment. Belief did not place significant importance on elaborate decoration of gravestones, as seen in formal cemeteries generally associated with white populations; but, instead placed emphasis on being buried in the cemetery as a community member and simple grave markers were used as a symbol of mutual aid reflected within the community.
The Flat Rock Archives Slave Cemetery Dedication and Libation Ceremony held October 30, 2010, paid tribute to the ancestors of their community through honor, celebration, and history. With a large turnout including news crews and Georgia Public Broadcasting, the community honored the Flat Rock historical church site, built in 1823, by blueprinting what was once the foundation and inviting people into the space. The crowd also visited the Slave Cemetery where a libation ceremony was held to honor the Flat Rock descendants’ ancestors. The celebration offered a realistic view into the past for the African-American community. SGA’s local chapter, the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society, has been involved with preserving and caring for the cemetery through volunteer efforts since 2008.
Preservation of aging buildings can offer knotty problems. Indeed, preservationists are often first faced with difficulties in purchasing the land a building sits on. Since 2004, preservationists have been working to purchase a 12-acre tract that includes the parcel on which the last remaining African American school house on St. Simons Island stands, called the Harrington Tract. The full story recounts where efforts stand as of Fall 2010.
The Flat Rock Archives and Museum is hosting its 1st Annual Commemorative Ancestors’ Walk and Community History Celebration Saturday, October 30, 2010. Flat Rock Archives and Museum invites you to join efforts to restore, preserve and protect the historic Flat Rock Slave Cemetery—the resting place of more than two hundred slaves and ancestors. The cemetery is east-southeast of Atlanta, and south of Lithonia proper. Events begin with a walk/race that starts at 8 AM; events continue all day.
Rice was an extremely important commercial crop in antebellum coastal Georgia. Yet, today, there’s very little rice grown in that area. This Weekly Ponder briefly considers the economic history of rice-growing along the Southeastern Coast, and looks at modern rice-farming in the USA a bit, too.
When the SGA leadership visited the coast in February 2010, many of us also toured Sapelo Island with archaeologist Dr. Ray Crook, who has worked on the island for decades. We took the morning ferry out underovercast skies, watched the sun arrive with us at the island dock, and returned to the mainland late in the afternoon. We took a break to enjoy a Geechee lunch at mid-day.
Next time you’re in Augusta, go downtown and visit the Springfield community. Springfield community is just west of the original downtown Augusta, right on the river. The community was a free African American community established around the time of the Revolutionary War. The heart of the community was and is Springfield Baptist Church, which was probably established between 1787 and 1793.
Period Time Subsistence Pattern Settlement Pattern Diagnostic Features Post war, global economy, information age AD 1945 to Present Corporate agriculture, international trade, service industry, and civil service Suburban-urbanization, second homes, rural abandonment Public works, transistors, interstate highways, disposable products, railroad abandonment, Teflon, computers Depression, recovery and war AD 1929 to AD 1945 Manufacturing, farming, retailing, [...]
Beginning in May 2008, members of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society have participated in a project complete with a sense of historic preservation and civic responsibility. Dedicating time and tools, members of GAAS have teamed up with the Flat Rock Archive in Lithonia, Georgia, to help in the restoration and documentation of the historic Flat [...]