The Society for Georgia Archaeology proudly presents the 2016 lesson plan Dynamic Borders: The Archaeology of Cumberland Island, Georgia. It is the nineteenth in SGA’s series of Archaeology Month-themed lesson plans, and it offers teachers and students alike information, instruction, pictures, discussions, activities, and suggestions for additional reading and online resources. Learn more about how Georgia archaeology teaches us about the fascinating history of the Cumberland Island and St. Marys region!
Tag: historic preservation
SGA President Tammy Herron was in Statesboro, Georgia the other day running some errands when a plaque on the ground in front of the AgSouth Farm Credit building caught her eye. Read on to find out what she spotted and to learn more about the process of documenting archaeological sites!
Former SGA president Catherine Long reports on the Seventh Biennial Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts , held Thursday, January 30 through Saturday, February 1 at the University of Georgia Hotel and Conference Center. The symposium included tours of historic properties in Athens and a presentation on ceramics by SGA’s own Dan Elliot.
For over twenty-five years, the Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro has served as a botanical and historical oasis on the edge of campus. Read on to learn more about the garden and recent efforts to turn the Bland Cottage into a museum.
Chieftain’s Museum Archaeologist Pat Garrow will present his findings from the December 2012 excavation at the Cave Spring Log Cabin. You can learn more about the work at the Cave Spring Log Cabin by clicking here. Representatives from the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will be on hand to put Mr. Garrow’s work in context. The talk is scheduled for March 25, 6:30 p.m. at the Cave Spring Elementary School in Cave Spring, Georgia.
Efforts of members of The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society and The Fort Daniel Foundation have finally paid off. On December 21, 2012, Gwinnett County closed on the 4.5-acre tract within which the entire fort site is situated. The County shall, in turn, lease the property to the Foundation, which will be responsible for developing both the land and an educational outreach program. Details of the lease agreement are being worked out, and it is expected that the Foundation will assume its responsibilities by the end of March. Already, students from local schools have had the opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn something about archaeology and about Fort Daniel’s connection with our frontier history and the Creek Indian War.
The Chesser–Williams House is now at the campus of the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. The House has exquisite art work on its exterior and interior. By moving the House to the Center, it will be preserved for educational programming. The project has received recognition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of 22 projects in the United States that received a Cynthia Woods Mitchell grant in 2010.
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.
Read SGA President Catherine Long’s first-person story of adventuring from the Atlanta area to Douglas to attend meetings on the 17–18th August, 2012. En route, she stopped and toured the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site in Irwin County, and discovered that one of the tales she had heard about Mr. Davis…well, read the full story and find out!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Spring Meeting co-sponsored by SGA and Georgia Gwinnett College! The date is Saturday, May 19 starting at 8am in the state-of-the art Student Center. Click here to access a PDF of the Spring Meeting Program (final version).
Do you geotag your digital photographs? North Carolina archivists have determined the geographic location of myriad photographs and other historical materials that illuminate the history of the Blue Ridge Parkway, then put scans of those materials online for researchers to browse. Read more about Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina 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.
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.
Careful preservation planning means knowledge about important historical and archaeological resources are part of the planning process. In late October 2011, Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division released Preservation Primer: A Resource Guide for Georgia, available in both high- and low-resolution PDFs. The Primer will help you identify historic properties, evaluate them, and develop local preservation planning strategies. And help protect your community’s resources.
What places in Georgia with historic importance are most under threat right now? In late October 2012, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation released its list of 2012 Places in Peril. This year all are standing structures, and four have white (or nearly white) columns. One is a pavilion from an amusement park in Gainesville and another is an embattled historic dormitory on the UGA campus in Athens.
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.
Plan to attend a meeting at 6:30pm tonight, September 6th, at UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, 315 Riverbend Road, to help change the fate of historic Rutherford Hall, which is currently slated for demolition. Rutherford is a dorm in the Myers Quad on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.
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.
A June 2011 report called The State of America’s National Parks warns on page 25 “that cultural resources in the National Park System—considered the most important to our country’s heritage—are in serious trouble. In fact, these places and collections are being maintained in a condition well below the level that the National Park Service itself has deemed appropriate.” The report concludes on page 27 that the reason this has happened is that “[t]here simply aren’t enough qualified and trained people overseeing the parks’ cultural heritage.” Given the many National Park System properties with an historic or archaeological slant in Georgia (e.g., Ocmulgee National Monument and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site), are you surprised at this situation?
From mid-2010 to early 2011, Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division sought public input on what HPD should emphasize in their programs over the coming five years. The current State Historic Preservation Plan will be replaced by a new plan by the end of 2011. In general, archaeological resources take a back seat to historical resources, especially standing buildings and historic districts.
Members of the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) worked over the weekend at the Berkmar “mystery” site—this was part of the old Wynne-Russell Plantation but is now Berkmar Middle School, Gwinnett County property. GARS members plan to record the site on 14 May, and are clearing brush, etc., in preparation for doing that with Berkmar MS 8th graders.
Passport In Time volunteers from any era are invited to the Passport In Time (PIT) Reunion at Scull Shoals on Saturday, April 30th, 2011, between 10AM and 4PM. The Reunion is being held in conjunction with the Scull Shoals Festival at the old mill site on the Oconee National Forest in Greene County. The big event is jointly hosted by the Friends of Scull Shoals, Inc, and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests.
Get your copy today! Volumes in Historical Archaeology: No. 49 Colonoware Examined: Another Heritage Remembered. This volume is an overview of past and current research on South Carolina and Georgia colonoware: Including initial assessment of representative, excavated pottery and shards and comparison with known ceramic technology.
Virginia Shadron, Chair, Friends of Georgia Archives & History, reports that the Fiscal Year 2012 budget that passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 11th includes budget reductions that probably will result in the State Archives closing its doors to the public. Shadron’s comments are made in an open letter online here. The House Bill must now be considered by Senators. Archaeologists use records stored at the Georgia Archives regularly in their research. Most materials are not online, so visiting the Archives is the only way to obtain the unique information stored there.
Help save a log building in Gordon County that’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered “the oldest home in Gordon County.” Meet on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM at Rockdale Plantation to join the effort.
The Natural Trust defines Cultural Heritage Tourism as traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, including cultural, historic and natural resources. The main goals of cultural heritage tourism include improving the quality of life for residents as well as serving cultural heritage travelers who will most likely stay longer and spend more money than travelers who are not affiliated with local history and its cultural environment.
The Golden Isles Archaeological Society will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at St. Simons Elementary School. Dr. Kevin Kiernan, board member of the Society for Georgia Archaeology is lecturer for the March meeting. Kiernan’s topic is titled Archaeology and the Visitor’s Club of the Brunswick Board of Trade in the Late 1930s.
Recently, Georgia DNR’s Historic Preservation Division released Good News in Tough Times: Historic Preservation and the Georgia Economy, a report on the impact of historic preservation on the state’s economy. The report is downloadable and gives figures on some benefits to the state’s bottom line. Note that individual property owners have invested $560,000,000 in historic buildings over the decade beginning in 2000.
Some historic buildings are known for their white columns. How did traditional carpenters make those columns? When they are standing in position and painted, it’s difficult to tell how they might have been made, even if you examine them closely. However, when a house is under renovation, construction secrets may be revealed.
The city of Atlanta has undertaken a visionary project to improve the transportation network for pedestrians. Under construction is the Atlanta Beltline project, which includes a 22-mile loop of pedestrian-friendly rail transit, almost 1300 acres of new parkland, and 33-miles of foot trails. Such projects are examples of changes in land use that affect historic and archaeological preservation.
The Cave Spring Log Cabin Project is participating in the Pepsi Grant Program for December. Help them win financial support from Pepsi by voting for their project all through December! Thank you!
The destruction inherent in modern warfare—for example, bombing, high-powered artillery, defensive construction by heavy equipment—is counter to the preservation of archaeological resources. The September 2010 issue of the newsletter of the Society for American Archaeology includes three articles in a section titled Antiquities in Warfare. More articles discuss Conflict Archaeology.
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 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.
By the Oconee River between Athens and Greensboro are the ruins of a fascinating historic industrial complex—with a captivating name: Scull Shoals. Plan a road trip to this interesting place, and bring a picnic!
The 2010 Fall Meeting is a tour of prehistoric and historic archaeological and historical sites in the St. Simons Island area from Friday-Sunday, 15-17 October. The meeting formally begins in the Frederica Room at Sea Palms on Saturday morning. Registration 8-9 am; short orientation talks start at 9 am, before heading out on the tours. Pick up a printout of the agenda, with maps, at the 9 am orientation. Article includes suggestions for activities if you arrive early enough on Friday the 15th.
The Cave Spring Historical Society is seeking to restore the town’s old hotel, which has two-story squared-log walls that were long obscured by blue siding.
Are you inquisitive enough to look up when most people don’t? You can often spot something interesting if you look up in public buildings with high ceilings. The full story discusses a mural painted on a ceiling in…wait, take a look and remember if you’ve seen it in real life!
The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society teamed with the Fort Daniel Foundation to again combine their public archaeology event with FDF’s 2nd annual Frontier Faire at the Fort Daniel site in Gwinnett County, May 22-23. A highlight of the weekend was a brick making project employing methods and technology that would have been used in the late 18th–early 19th centuries.
World Trade Center workers revealed a long-buried ship in black mud on July 13, 2010. Archaeologists have been working to record the timbers before they dry out and crumble. Follow the link in full story to a New York Times story with details and pictures. The small picture here is from a Fred R. Conrad photograph in the Times story.
Many of us have probably been thinking about impacts of the oil washing ashore on coastal archaeological resources—but what about underwater resources like shipwrecks? An AP story from early July notes that BP has hired an archaeological firm in the face of concerns about the effects of the spill on terrestrial and underwater archaeological resources.
In ancient times, humans lived their lives in the outdoors, although perhaps they spent some time in a cave or rockshelter. Now, the majority of people live in towns and cities. This process of urbanization has myriad implications for archaeologists. This Weekly Ponder considers the concept of the built environment.
The 2010 SEAC Public Outreach Grant has been awarded to Fort Frederica National Monument, St. Simons Island, Georgia, for their project “Digging History” at Fort Frederica: Community Archaeology Festival. The festival features SGA’s ArchaeoBus.
The Phoenix Flies unites a community of Preservation Partners, to enhance Atlanta and promote its heritage. The 2010 The Phoenix Flies: A Citywide Celebration of Living Landmarks has over 160 FREE events scheduled around the city from Saturday, March 6th, through Monday, March 22nd.
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.
The Society for American Archaeology recently announced that their newsletter, published five times each year, is available in a new format for reading online beginning with the 2010 issues, and also is downloadable.
Greenspace projects involve lands set aside to remain undeveloped. In cities, publicly owned greenspace is often in parks. The central purpose of greenspace is to assure that some terrain remains protected from construction, paving, and other development. In short, it will remain “green.” Preservation of greenspace often means the preservation of archaeological sites. How does that happen?
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.
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.
SGA members are concerned about predictions of global increases in sea level because Georgia’s coast has many archaeological sites, including shell mounds and historic buildings, that are right at sea level or only a few feet above sea level. Therefore, changes in water levels will damage fragile archaeological resources. The full story examines some of the factors involved in generating a good model of the coming changes in sea level.
A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Cameron McWhirter discusses the application of modern technologies to Civil War archaeological sites in the Atlanta area. Most of the article stems from an interview with SGA member Garrett Silliman, and also mentions SGA member Dan Elliott.
On November 4th 2009, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation announced its list of Georgia’s top ten Places in Peril, which includes the Leake Archaeological Site, a rich Middle Woodland and Late Mississippian-period prehistoric settlement on the outskirts of Cartersville. Scot Keith, an archaeologist who lead recent excavations at the Leake Site, notes, “with help from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and numerous volunteers, we will be conducting many activities in the next year (and beyond) to foster public awareness of the site and its important place in history. This will include public education days at the site, community meetings, interviews, articles, partnerships and grants, research and fieldwork, and regular website updates.”
The Fort Daniel Foundation has scheduled its annual meeting for 7:00 pm on December 15th at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center (GJAC) in Lawrenceville in the 2nd floor conference room center.
The Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society has scheduled a field trip to the Roswell Mills site for Sunday, November 15.
Recent data from a geophysical survey of the Roman town of Venta Icenorum, in Norfolk, England, directed by researchers from the University of Nottingham, reveals that this walled town was less densely settled than previously thought. Geophysical surveys do not disturb buried archaeological remains and can reveal important data, using less expensive and repeatable research methods.
Sgt. Ronald Peters, a geospatial analyst whose hometown is Fort Lewis, Washington, with Multi-National Corps – Iraq C-7, has been mapping the archaeological sites of Iraq in his spare time.
Do some research online and save fuel! Georgia’s Secretary of State’s website includes the Virtual Vault, which contains historical documents, records, maps, etc., dating back to 1733, as well as recent photographs.
Even a cursory examination of cross-cultural data indicates that around the globe, in many societies, peoples with many belief systems have built structures important to them on high places. In addition, the structures are often unusually tall when compared to residential buildings. Indeed, important buildings are often tall, large, or both. Why?
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?
Preservation Georgia Online for September 12–18, 2009, lists the four grants funded through statewide preservation license tag sales. The four SFY 2010 Georgia Heritage Grants total $46,285.
One thing we have to consider when reconstructing ruins of any sort, including historic and ancient buildings, is the period or date to make the reconstruction match.
Weekly Ponder considers this important issue.
An August 18th article published by onlineAthens.com, notes that construction workers on the crew renovating New College, one of the University of Georgia’s oldest buildings, have been recovering artifacts from beneath the building.
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 Blood Mountain shelter on the Appalachian Trail provokes thoughts about the network of prehistoric footpaths that criss-crossed Georgia.
Your tax dollars support many governmental programs. One is archives of historic information. The Southeast Region Archives building is just south of Atlanta, in Jonesboro. Among the many resources there, I recently examined some pictures of farms that were bought by the US government and flooded to make TVA reservoirs that still make hydropower we use today.
Members of the SGA may be interested in attending a meeting discussing the latest budget reductions to Georgia State Historic Sites. The meeting will be on Tuesday, August 11th, at the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation offices at Rhodes Hall on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, from 10 AM to 2:30 PM.
The sixteenth annual Georgia Archaeology Awareness promotion, Archaeology Month 2009, had as its theme Mounds in Our Midst: Monuments of Prehistoric Culture in Georgia. The annual Spring Meeting was held on May 16 at Wesleyan University in Macon with a crowd of 103 in attendance. An interesting array of presentations was compiled by President Dennis Blanton who was in charge of coordinating the program for the day. While the majority of the presentations focused on the archaeology of mound sites throughout the state, the audience also received an update on the preservation efforts at the Fort Daniel site in Gwinnett County and learned about the documentation of the Flat Rock African-American Cemetery in DeKalb County. The highlight of the day was the long-awaited unveiling of the ArchaeoBus (A.B. or Abbey for short); the rain ceased just in time for this special occasion. Those who were brave enough to wait out the rains Saturday evening and night and face the mud and biting insects on Sunday morning received another special treat. Approximately 25 courageous individuals hiked into the swamp under the leadership of park rangers from Ocmulgee National Monument to tour the Lamar Mounds and Village site.
Wanna read about how “real archaeologists” compare what they do with what Indiana Jones does? The National Science Foundation (your tax dollars at work) funds archaeological projects, and the present an online “report” discussing what archaeologists the NSF has funded really do—in contrast to the behavior of Dr. Jones in the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas movies.
Heritage News is a monthly e-newsletter published by the National Park Service that delivers timely information on national heritage topics including grant opportunities, new laws or policies, events, and activities of interest. The July issue notes that a 1929 house in Dawsonville was listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places in May 2009. The house was owned by a moonshiner who built his still right in the house.
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.
On Tuesday May 5th, Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division and the Georgia Trust are offering an all-day orientation session on the programs and services offered by the two organizations. Cost is $30 per person, which covers program materials, continental breakfast, and the afternoon break, and the orientation will be held in downtown Atlanta. The full story has the agenda and a link to the registration form.
Identify the maker of a brick GAAS and SGA member Dick Brunelle found and photographed at Hills and Dales, the Callaway family plantation near LaGrange, and shown in the picture to the left.
Dick even gives two hints to make this puzzle easier….
Wiley Publishing has just issued Archaeology for Dummies ($21.95) by SGA member Nancy White. The book tells how archaeology is detective work and traces over 2 million years of prehistoric human cultures. It demonstrates how archaeology uncovers things about historic times that history can’t, and shows how archaeological knowledge is useful for modern issues like […]
The Fish Vault has been famous in Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville’s city cemetery, as the place where poor Mr. Fish, despondent over the loss of his wife, had shut himself into the vault and killed himself while sitting in a rocking chair. Visitors to the vault are routinely told to knock at the door and […]
The wooden building known as Gum Creek Courthouse is over a century old, and can be viewed in northern Newton County.
Manufacturer’s names on products like bricks allow us to reconstruct trade relationships across regions like Southeastern North America.
On Monday, November 17, 2008, the Columbus Museum formally transferred ownership of the Singer-Moye mound site property, located in Stewart County, to the University of Georgia. The ceremony, which was attended by Museum and UGA representatives, local elected officials, members of the Singer and Moye families and a number of interested citizens, was the culmination […]
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 […]
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 […]
Many readers of The Profile have no doubt heard of the recent announcement of the pending transfer of ownership of the Singer-Moye mound site from the Columbus Museum to the University of Georgia. Those that have not will likely want to know how this decision came about, while those with some understanding of it will […]
Site Loss in Georgia is a special issue of Early Georgia, published in Spring 2005. The first article, “When the Past is Destroyed: Loss of Archaeological Sites Due to Urbanization,” by Stephen Kowalewski, evaluates the state of preservation of Georgia’s archaeological sites. Here, for the first time, objective lines of evidence useful in assessing the […]
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 […]