…in which Abby the ArchaeoBus visits Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, and is visited by over 200 people. The SGA extends a hearty thanks to helpers from Armstrong Atlantic State University Anthropology Club, students, and especially Anthropology and Archaeology Instructors Ms. Bruno and Ms. Seifert!
Tag: coastal Georgia
SGA members will be pleased to see the inclusion of Kevin Kiernan’s chapter on Preston Holder’s New Deal-era excavations on the Georgia coast in a new book, Shovel Ready: Archaeology and Roosevelt’s New Deal for America, edited by Bernard K. Means (The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2013). In his chapter, “Preston Holder’s WPA Excavations in Glynn and Chatham Counties, Georgia, 1936-1938,” long-time SGA member Kevin Kiernan provides important information about a little-known area of Georgia archaeology.
Once again, the SGA sent the Archaeobus to CoastFest 2012, in Brunswick, along with tables of displays staffed by fifteen member-volunteers (thank you! thank you!). Kevin Kiernan took the organizational lead on this event. Over 8000 people from across Georgia and nearby states crowded onto the grounds of the DNR’s Coastal Regional Headquarters near the beautiful Sidney Lanier Bridge to attend this event on Saturday, October 6th, with many touring SGA’s offerings.
…in which Abby the ArchaeoBus attends the 2012 CoastFest in Brunswick to show people how fun and exciting archaeology can be, and how important it is to preserve archaeological sites.
Just recently two examples of archaeological remains coming to light that had been preserved beneath pavements have been in the news. One is the possible burial of a king in England. The other are human remains found beneath where a middle school was recently razed in the historic district of Brunswick. What do you think of paving over as a deliberate way to preserve archaeological remains?
Rita Elliott invites you to volunteer to help with the SGA’s exhibit at CoastFest in Brunswick. Our biggest display will be the ArchaeoBus! Rita writes, “We will be setting up at 8 AM.” CoastFest runs from 10AM–4PM on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Follow the link in the full story, and tell Rita when you can help!
Recently, researchers have studied the chemistry of food remains on mugs from the huge Mississippian-period occupation at Cahokia, a multi-mound site across the Mississippi River from what is now St. Louis, Missouri. They discovered that the chemical profile included methylxanthines present in two species of holly. Historical records from early Euro-Americans record that Native peoples drank teas made from these species. This research confirms that these ritual drinks were consumed for hundreds of years. Also, these holly trees are not native to the Cahokia area, and researchers propose that bark and leaves for making teas were traded inland from native stands along the Gulf Coast.
The South Georgia Archaeological Research Team, SOGART, a Chapter of the SGA, is sponsoring the 2012 Symposium on Southeastern Coastal Plain Archaeology, to be held Saturday August 18th in Stubbs Hall Auditorium on the South Georgia College campus in Douglas. Registration is free, and will begin at 8:00AM. Papers are scheduled for all day, and topics should appeal to anyone interested in Georgia archaeology. Click here to access a PDF of the all-day symposium program.
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.
We hope you will join us in commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 by attending the SGA’s Spring Meeting on May 19th at the Georgia Gwinnett College campus. Georgia’s role in the War of 1812 had three main focus points: the Creek War (1813–1814), the British blockade, and the British occupation of St. Mary’s and Cumberland Island (1814–1815). Attend the Spring Meeting and learn about relationships between the Creek and the frontier people and feature research on fortifications from that period.
The Golden Isles Archaeological Society will hold their February meeting Tuesday the 7th at St. Simons Elementary School in the Cafeteria at 7:00pm. The meeting will feature Ryan Sipe of Georgia Southern University and is titled Georgia’s Mission Frontier: The Life and Times of the Sixteenth Century Guale.
The naval stores industry was important to Georgia’s economy for generations. Naval stores are made from the sap of pine trees. This industry was concentrated in the piney areas of the Coastal Plain. Visit the Million Pines Rest Area north of Soperton and learn about harvesting pine sap.
Preston Holder was the most productive archaeologist of the Georgia Coast during the Federal Works Progress Administration era (WPA was created in April 1935), and, in fact, the SGA helped fund his salary prior to the WPA. Some artifacts from Holder’s work were displayed at the Visitor’s Center at the entrance to the St. Simons causeway. Kevin Kiernan discusses Holder’s work in the November 2011 issue of the Society for American Archaeology’s Archaeological Record, which is previewed in the full story.
There’s a little-known type of archaeological site called a transportation site. Transportation sites are of many sub-types, including railroads and railroad depots and yards, roads and trails, canals, and wharves and docks. These are archaeological sites but not residential sites. Read more in the full story, which focusses on the Brunswick-Altamaha Canal, which SGA members and guests visited during the tour of archaeological sites near St. Simons Island that was the focus of the SGA’s exciting 2010 Fall Meeting.
Chica Arndt, President of the Coastal Georgia Archaeological Society (CGAS), will be speaking at the Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, meeting of the Hilton Head Chapter of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina. The meeting is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn at 1 pm.
The National Park Service manages the Cumberland Island National Seashore, along Georgia’s coast. The 30-day comment period for the management of seven small parcels within the park will end on 12 August 2011. You can submit your comments via email. Follow this link to access the plan online and for instructions on making your comments.
One consequence of wildfires is that they not only threaten homes, but they can also threaten archaeological resources. Buried features may be protected by the soil above them, but many archaeological features extend above the soil. This is true for hundreds of archaeological sites currently threatened by fires in New Mexico and Arizona. This is also true for Georgia sites now threatened by fires near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Consider how we can effectively fight fires and at the same time provide protection for irreplaceable archaeological resources—is it possible?
When we consider the long tale of our human past, how important are major disasters? Consider the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Consider the impact of the 2005 hurricane season on the Gulf of Mexico, especially Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita. Also, consider a hinterland place like Georgia’s own Sapelo Island, and the hurricane of 1898. What choices do people face after a disaster? What are their options if they emigrate? What must they do to stay?
May is Archaeology Month in Georgia, and this year’s theme is Gone But Not Forgotten: Rediscovering the Civil War through Archaeology. SGA’s poster celebrating this theme can be downloaded by clicking here. The bibliographic references for the extensive and informative text on the back of the poster are downloadable by clicking here. Please join us at the SGA’s 2011 Spring Meeting on Saturday, May 14th, at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce to learn more about how archaeology has supplied information about the Civil War that books, letters, and other records did not.
Recently, a team of volunteer and professional archaeologists directed by professionals from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, West Florida University, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have discovered the site of the original lightkeeper’s house on Sapelo Island. Since the collapse of the ruins, probably in the early 1900s, its location had been lost. The SGA leadership visited the lighthouse in February 2010, perhaps walking over the buried remains of the house.
The Coastal Georgia Archaeological Society is sponsoring a speaker on Sunday, February 6, at 2:00 pm at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum, 681 Fort Argyle Road (Route 204), Savannah, as part of Super Museum Sunday. The speaker is P.T Ashlock, and the presentation is titled, “Archaeology of Ebenezer: How the Method of Ground Penetrating Radar Helped Reveal a Fort from the American Revolution”.
The Golden Isles Archaeological Society (GIAS) is the newest Chapter of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. Jamice Meschke, president of GIAS, appointed a sub-committee to write up new By-Laws in compliance with the rules and obligations of the SGA. Also read a brief summary of what the group has been involved with this fall.
The report GPR Survey at Gascoigne Bluff, St. Simmons Island, Georgia presents the findings of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey conducted during the SGA’s 2010 fall meeting. GPR survey of a portion of Gascoigne Bluff on St. Simons Island was performed on October 16, 2010, and report author Dan Elliott was assisted by SGA members in completing the survey. This project was a joint public outreach and research effort by the LAMAR Institute, the Society for Georgia Archaeology, and the Cassina Garden Club.
Savannah College of Art and Design student Adrienne Birge-Wilson, who is in the Historic Preservation (HP) program, tells what a great time she had joining SGA members and guests at the 2010 Fall Meeting, a tour of archaeological sites in the St. Simons Island area. Not only did she and other SCAD students enjoy themselves, Ms. Birge-Wilson notes that they now understand “archaeology’s pertinence in HP’s sphere of immediate concern.”
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.
At the SGA business meeting on October 16th, 2010, Ellen Provenzano, Glynn County 4th grade teacher and Glynn County Schools Archaeology Education Coordinator received the prestigious George S. Lewis Archaeological Stewardship Award from the Society for Georgia Archaeology.
The SGA met on St. Simons Island, east of Brunswick, on a lovely fall weekend in mid-October, and explored archaeological sites there and in the SSI area. Enjoy dozens of pictures from the tour in the full story. The SGA thanks all who organized the trip, discussed the places we visited, and gave us permission to visit them—and to all non-members who joined our tour.
You can order $5 box lunches for the Saturday picnic on Gascoigne Bluff during the Fall Meeting (Friday-Sunday, 15-17 October, 2010) through today, October 8th. The full story has a downloadable registration form to send in. The Meeting will be held on and around St. Simons Island, near Brunswick. Meeting details are here. Order form is here.
You can still order $5 box lunches for the Saturday picnic on Gascoigne Bluff until 8 October, and you can register right up to the start of the meeting in the conference hall at Sea Palms on Saturday, 16 October, from 8-9 am. However, the deadline for discount room rates at Sea Palms expired on 8 September; you can still book rooms at their usual rates.
Now’s the time to get out your calendar and checkbook, and make your reservations for the Fall 2010 meeting. The Fall meeting will take place on St. Simons Island and environs from Friday-Sunday, 15-17 October 2010. The general theme of the meeting is Historic Preservation of Prehistoric, Colonial and Plantation Structures on the Coast. Reservations for events and hotel rooms are due by September 8th. We have dropped the Friday night BBQ and accordingly adjusted the Friday activities for early arrivals. Send in your completed form and check NOW!
Five days off between my last stint and today, when I went back to my second home of Ft. Frederica. You may recall I spent last spring parked at the fort while I visited school children there and in all the Glynn County elementary schools with Mrs. P*. Well, I got to go back [...]
Save the date for this year’s Fall Meeting, to be held in the Brunswick/St. Simons Island area on Saturday, October 16th.
In a simple operation, you can use Google Earth software (free!) to overlay historic maps with the modern landscape. Here we demonstrate how informative this operation can be using the British Library’s online copy of a 1562 historic map by Spanish cartographer Diego Gutiérrez. We just examine North America’s southern Atlantic coastline, including the Georgia bight.
Coastal Heritage Society archaeologists, supported by the NPS American Battlefield Protection Program, are investigating Revolutionary War archaeological sites throughout downtown Savannah. Read about their activities in their recently established blog, “Savannah Under Fire.” The blog has frequent updates, sometimes more than once per week!
Consider attending this all-day event at Cumberland Island, intended to familiarize educators with archaeology resources for the classroom that can enhance learning opportunities in math, science, art, and social studies. Cost is $10, and the group will meet at 8 am at the dock in St. Marys on Saturday, May 22. The full story has a link to a one-page information sheet with more details.
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.
The SGA Board and Officers met on Saturday, February 6th, 2010, at the Ashantilly library, named after the home’s builder, Thomas Spalding. Ashantilly is a plantation just north of Darien. The SGA and its members owe a big debt of thanks to the wonderful, kind folks at the Ashantilly Center, who hosted our meeting.
Researchers at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah identified two historic-period cemeteries. One had been buried beneath a parking lot for over fifty years; it had thirty-seven graves. A second cemetery was identified from an 1889 map as a “Negro Cemetery,” and had well over three hundred burials. All human remains and artifacts were carefully excavated and respectfully moved to Belmont Cemetery, and the Installation’s Garrison Commander and Chaplain participated in a rededication ceremony in conjunction with African-American History Month in February 2009. Article includes photographs of selected grave goods.
The Bigger Picture: Using Landscape Archaeology to Better Understand Two Late Archaic Shell Rings on St. Catherines Island
Archaeological crews from the American Museum of Natural History have been excavating on St. Catherines Island for over 30 years. Research this fall focused on the McQueen Shell Ring. Data suggests that the ring was the only substantial Late Archaic presence in this section of St. Catherines Island. (The full story may be slow to load due to a large figure.)
CoastFest 2009 broke all records for attendance this year with over 7000 visitors. The SGA sent the ArchaeoBus and set up tables, with many volunteers helping educate the visitors. The theme was “Save Georgia’s Dirt!”
The ArchaeoBus wranglers have been busy. During the past six months with few attempts to solicit venues, we have exposed 8,500 people to the Archaeobus and archaeology. Read the full story for a summary of ArchaeoBus activities, and a discussion of funding sources and some volunteers (a hearty thank you to each!) and expenses.
Georgia’s Jekyll Island has an interesting past, detailed here. The Island is owned by the the people of Georgia and managed on their behalf by the Jekyll Island Authority. It’s a natural and cultural treasure most of us don’t know enough about.
Examination of the regions of the world shows that not all are similarly easy to traverse on foot or via waterways—and coastlines—as ancient peoples would. Yet, people exchanged goods and information via networks that spanned great distances. Compare the European and Southeastern North American regions with these concepts in mind.
An important event in the history of the telephone happened on Jekyll Island. If you wander around the historic area south of the Jekyll Island Clubhouse, now the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, you will find a plexiglass box encompassing an old telephone. Do you know what this commemorates?
CoastFest is Georgia’s largest organized celebration of the state’s rich and vast coastal natural resources, and this year will be held on Saturday, October third, in Brunswick.
National Geographic Traveler has highlighted fifty “Drives of a Lifetime.” A route along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts is one of the trips discussed. Several small detours would take you to enjoyable historic places like the Tybee Island lighthouse.
The Coastal Heritage Society of Savannah has been sponsoring archaeological research on Revolutionary War archaeological sites across the city as part of the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (your tax dollars at work!). The report of this highly successful research is now complete, and available as a downloadable PDF.
Jennifer Salinas and Elizabeth Drolet screening soil during the Back Creek Village shovel test pit survey. This past October, the American Museum of Natural History returned to St. Catherines Island for three weeks of fieldwork, tackling a range of interrelated projects. We monitored on-going construction projects occurring on the island, launched a largescale shovel test [...]
Coastal Georgia Archaeological Society’s activities this summer were very low key, compared to 2007 when we worked on the Groves Creek site on Skidaway Island. We spent the summer of 2008 in air conditioned comfort at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum washing, sorting and cataloguing artifacts from excavations, lead by Mark Newell, made along the Canal [...]
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has been lucky enough to work on St. Catherines Island, Georgia for the last 30+ years. Since 2006, the museum has focused its attention on the Late Archaic Period (3000-1000 B.C.) on the island—specifically, we have been working on the St. Catherines Island Shell Ring. Shell rings are [...]
Much of the routine archaeological activity at Fernbank concerns management of the St. Catherines Island archaeological collection. Great strides have been made to bring housing of the collection up to contemporary standards, and planning is underway for a new exhibit that will feature the many stories represented by this remarkable set of artifacts. Information about [...]
Transfer of the St. Catherines Island Foundation and Edward John Noble Foundation Collection of archaeological material to Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta was begun early in 2004. This very large, high quality archaeological collection was amassed during 30 years of island investigation led by Dr. David Hurst Thomas of the American Museum of [...]