At their March meeting on the 12th, members and guests of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society, a Chapter of the SGA, enjoyed hearing about the Singer-Moye Mississippian-period mound-and-village settlement that some Chapter members had visited in June 2012 from Stefan Brannan, a University of Georgia graduate student who was directing a Field School there. Brannan says that Singer-Moye is “the second largest Mississippian period mound center in Georgia that no one has ever heard of.” Brannan’s research has revealed hitherto unknown and important information about this archaeological site.
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?
The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS), a Chapter of SGA, and the Friends of Ft. Daniel Foundation (FDF), will host their annual Fort Daniel Frontier Faire on Saturday, October 20 from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, October 21 from 11am to 4pm. Enjoy a museum display, Trading Post, face painting, archaeological tour, refreshments, blacksmith, and other vendors right on the location of the fort in Buford in Gwinnett County. Admission is open to the public at $2 per person or $5 per family.
Excavators working on a prehistoric settlement on the east bank of the Flint River in Spalding County have recovered materials from the Early Archaic through the Middle Woodland periods, along with posts, pits and many rock clusters. This work was performed by a crew from Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc. for the Georgia Department of Transportation. The ancient community was on the first terrace overlooking a back swamp.
May is Archaeology Month in the state of Georgia, and also Historic Preservation Month, but did you also know that May is Lyme and Tick-borne Disease Awareness Month? The Georgia Lyme Disease Association sponsors this month to promote awareness about these diseases as well as encourage prevention practices. Find more information online here, where you can find resources, stories, statistics, and articles detailing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases. In Georgia, ticks may be active year round, but they are most active on calm, cool, damp (humid) days over 60 degrees. You can engage in some prevention by avoiding tick infested areas, using tick/bug sprays, and checking yourself thoroughly after venturing outside.
We all know dams hold water, but they can also preserve archaeological information. The recent dynamiting of the Eagle & Phenix dam in the Chattahoochee River adjacent to downtown Columbus has revealed considerable data on the industrial history of the mill complexes that lined this stretch of the river. The water also concealed many archaeological artifacts. Read about what destruction of the dam has revealed, and the exhibits that will be created to tell the story of the Eagle & Phenix dam and the mills it served.
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.
…In which Abby the ArchaeoBus visits Ft. Hawkins, in Macon. Abby describes excavations to uncover palisade walls that were built in 1809, and the flood of visitors who toured the Bus and displays.
The well-attended October 2011 Frontier Faire at Fort Daniel, sponsored by the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society, a Chapter of the SGA, and the Fort Daniel Foundation, hosted a Trading Post, tours, a candle-maker, both Girl and Boy Scouts, a food area and more. The 2011 Frontier Faire is considered a definite success and will serve as a model for next year’s Faire.
This week, 24–31 October, 2011, the SGA’s ArchaeoBus is at Fort Hawkins and open to the public, while excavations are in progress. This is the first time the ArchaeoBus has visited active excavations! Fort Hawkins, on a hill above the Ocmulgee National Monument and downtown Macon, dates to 1806, before Macon was founded. On the 31st, attend a Press Conference at 3:00PM, when you can see all that was found during the week, and tour the ArchaeoBus. At 5:00PM, the first Fort Hawkins Halloween Hauntings will begin, with ArchaeoBus tours a major highlight of this free, fun, family event.
While volcanoes are undeniably destructive, they can aid archaeological tourism by preserving ancient homes and settlements. We discuss the case of AD 79 Roman Herculaneum, formerly on the Bay of Naples, Italy, and offer a few photographs.
Kevin Kiernan, Board member of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, will speak about WPA Archaeology on St. Simons Island during the Great Depression. His lecture is this Sunday, September 18, 2011, at 5 p.m. at the Ashantilly Center in Darien, Georgia.
Macon.com contributing writer Jim Gaines featured a story August 30, 2011, regarding the Lamar Institute’s renewal of their 2005 dig at Fort Hawkins. The article mainly addresses the call for volunteers at the site from October 10 through 28, 2011. Lamar Institute President Daniel Elliott is looking for about twenty-four volunteers who can work at least five days, front $150 to cover basics and insurance, and those with field experience.
Consider how quantities of fine-grained data obtained through careful, well-documented excavation can be integrated to investigate broader questions of socio-political evolution. Consider how the scale of data and the research questions you can ask using them are related.
In his Memoirs, General William T. Sherman provides a detailed description of the rifle-trenches soldiers from both sides occupied while fighting near Kennesaw Mountain—and elsewhere—during the Civil War. Today, we consider the remains of these trenches archaeological features. What would you expect them to look like archaeologically—if they have survived the nearly one-and-a-half centuries since 1864?
The Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society-GAAS has been busy this summer. Many chapter members have volunteered at various sites throughout Georgia and have been able to expand their archaeological knowledge through hands on excavation as well as participation in site supervisor lectures and updates. GAAS continues to be a great avenue for individuals interested in the hands-on archaeological experience. GAAS also has big news regarding their chapter president. Dennis Blanton has stepped down as president and, replacing Dennis will be Lyn Kirkland, who has been a member of GAAS for over 20 years.
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.
Boy Scouts from Troop 125 in Holly Springs performed some real life science by helping William Phillips, an Eagle Scout from Troop 11 of Gainesville, in early May 2010. Under the supervision of Dr. Jack Wynn, North Georgia College and State University archaeologist and long-time SGA member, the boys visited a prehistoric site that Mr. Phillips had targeted for testing. The scouts helped precisely measure and mark the locations of the new test holes, then worked in supervised groups, making careful notes as they proceeded. At day’s-end, scouts had recovered dozens of pottery fragments, along with a few groundstone artifacts, and the artifacts all had to be cleaned and categorized. The boys learned that science isn’t always done the way it appears to be in the movies.
Long-time SGA member Pat Garrow’s new book, The Chieftain Excavations, 1969-1971 reports the results of excavations Pat conducted on the Chieftains site, home of Cherokee leader Major Ridge (died, 1839) in Rome from 1969 to 1971. Analyses clearly indicate that George Lavender’s Store had been located in the north side yard of Major Ridge’s home, and had stood over the stone-lined cellar found during the excavations. Read more about this interesting research—and follow a link to order the volume in paperback or as a PDF—in the full story.
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.
An October 3rd article in the online version of The Augusta Chronicle by Terry Dickson describes work in the Brunswick community of Selden Park. Archaeologists have recovered broken pottery, shells, and other artifacts left by prehistoric peoples.
Archaeologist Scot Keith reports on the Leake site, which is west of Cartersville in Bartow County not far from the Etowah Mounds site, and partly within the right-of-way of Highways 61/113. The site has been named to the 2010 Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Places in Peril listing, which will aid Keith and others to raise money to protect the remaining portions of this important Woodland and Mississippian site. The full story includes excellent aerial photographs.
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.)
The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) held a public archaeology day at the Creekside Rock Shelter in the Gwinnett County during the 2009 Winn Faire, October 13 and 14. The Faire, sponsored by the Gwinnett Historical Society, brought hundreds of visitors to the site. GARS and the newly incorporated, not-for-profit, Fort Daniel Foundation (FDF), also had a booth at the Faire. Their work at the Fort Daniel site also continues. Go to the full story to read more about GARS activities.
A crew of students lead by Diana Greenlee of the Department of Geosciences at University of Louisiana at Monroe tested buried circles in the plaza area of the famous Poverty Point site in northeast Louisiana this summer and was able to date the features they tested. This important civic-ceremonial site dates to the Terminal Archaic and is open to the public.
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.
The July 2009 issue of the Smithsonian magazine has an article by Barbara Krieger that details the research lead by Ehud Netzer of Hebrew University at the hilltop fortress palace that the Biblical King Herod built to eventually house his mausoleum. The exact location of his burial place, however, become lost to history, and remained an archaeological mystery until 2007.
Archaeologists conducting excavations are always trying to determine whether objects and features dated to the same period, or whether they were separated in time. Superposition is a big word that refers to locating one thing atop another thing. Archaeological researchers discover superpositioned objects all the time. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine just when the superpositioning occurred—whether the two objects were abandoned more or less simultaneously, or whether they were left during events hundreds of years apart.
After archaeological sites and artifacts are abandoned, various natural processes begin to change them. Earthworms, for example, churn soil and affect archaeological deposits. The fancy word for this and other natural processes that affect archaeological materials after they are abandoned is bioturbation.
Do you have any idea what 10YR5/4 means? Read about it by clicking [More] below.
Archaeology is a destructive science. Therefore, when archaeologists excavate, they look not only for artifacts, but for faint differences in the soil—variations in color and texture, for example—among other significant but barely perceptible evidence left behind.
Drip lines are one kind of faint evidence a careful excavator might find. This evidence may be data that is otherwise unavailable. Read more to learn about drip lines, what makes them, and what they might mean.
In October 2007, TRC began data recovery excavations at The Spirit Hill Site, 1JA642, a multi-component prehistoric site on the Tennessee River in northeastern Alabama. We completed the fieldwork in May 2008, and are currently involved in the analysis and reporting. Data recovery operations focused on a 2.81-acre tract in the central portion of site [...]
David Macaulay is an author and illustrator who has written many interesting books. One of my favorites is Motel of the Mysteries, published in 1979 by Houghton Mifflin (Boston). The book is now out of print, so I always look for a copy at yard sales and flea markets—and every once in a while I’m [...]
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 [...]
Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) archaeologists met in September at New Echota State Historic Site in Gordon County with members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Elder’s Advisory Council and Federal Highway Administration to discuss the proposed bridge replacements and roadway improvements to State Route (SR) 225. Tribal elders and members of EBCI [...]
Figure 1. Trench feature with hearth feature in background, both at the bottom of the plowzone. The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) has put excavations at Fort Daniel on hold until analysis of recovered artifacts, representing more than one year of investigations at the site, and preparation of a technical report are completed. On the [...]
About twenty years ago I heard of a “serpent” that had been constructed out of stone on Dick’s Ridge in northwest Georgia. Last year a local informant, Wade Gilbert, led me to not one but three such stone constructions in the same area. The third and largest that was shown to me is the subject [...]
Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc. (EPEI), under a contract with GDOT, has completed a large-scale data recovery project at 9CK1, the Long Swamp site, situated on the Etowah River outside of Ball Ground, Georgia. The site was first professionally examined by Robert Wauchope in the late 1930s. He excavated on the east side of what is now [...]
The recent amendment to one of Georgia’s archaeology laws might affect you, whether you are an avocational or professional archaeologist. Code Section 12-3-621 has always required a person who is going to dig on an archaeological site to first notify the Office of the State Archaeologist. This recent amendment has made that notification a lot [...]
Tom Gresham talking about rock pile sites at the February GARS meeting. The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society has moved their monthly meeting date to the first Wednesday of the month, but is still meeting 7:30 to 9:00 PM in the Gwinnett County Justice and Administration Building, 75 Langley Road, Lawrenceville. In February we had a [...]
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 [...]
It is was once said, “June is the month for weddings”. Not in our field of avocational and vocational interest. June is the first full month when schools of all kinds release students of anthropology and archaeology, along with their professors, to “get down to earth” in archaeological pursuits. And sometimes, they allow volunteers to [...]
After several years in which the position was vacant, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest filled the position of District Archaeologist on the Oconee Ranger District in Eatonton, Georgia, in April 2005. James Wettstaed took this position after working as an archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service for 13 years in Missouri and four years in Montana. [...]
In possibly our busiest winter to date, New South Associates is currently at work on two data recovery projects and is about to begin a third, in addition to a number of survey and testing projects, including smaller corridor or bridge surveys conducted in Bartow, Lowndes, Douglas, Coweta, Paulding, and Washington counties. Data recovery excavations [...]
Overview looking south of excavations at L1 and L2. The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) continues to work with the Gwinnett Historical Society (GHS) investigating areas of archaeological interest on the 20-acre Winn House tract in Dacula. Having completed excavation of an outbuilding location associated with the historic Elisha Winn house, where the public was [...]
Members of the Georgia Mountains Chapter have recently conducted a preliminary test on the newly discovered Hummingbird Hill Quartz Quarry on the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve near Gainesville. A few months ago, Elachee volunteer “Doc” Johnson recognized a spread of quartz rocks on the lower part of a ridge nose in the preserve as a [...]
Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc. (EPEI) recently completed Phase III fieldwork at 9PU20 near Hawkinsville, GA. The excavations were conducted on behalf of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) as part of a proposed bridge replacement over Big Tucsawatchee Creek (also known as Big Creek) on State Route 230. The site is located on a fluvial terrace [...]
This entertaining, colorful cartoon book is about archaeology, particularly in Georgia; it is accurate and amusing. The book features hand-lettered text accompanied by eye-catching, vivid, often humorous artwork. The volume also provides various ideas for archaeological projects. Although oriented toward Georgia and Southeastern archaeology, this volume is useful for understanding general concepts in the archaeology [...]