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.
Tag: Mississippian period
In a recent article, Dan Bigman of the University of Georgia describes using electromagnetic (EM) induction techniques to investigate two areas adjacent to the Funeral Mound at Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon. These techniques allowed Bigman to learn more about the archaeological resources in the park without disturbing them. Using non-invasive methods allows archaeologists to learn about buried evidence of the past without disturbing it. You can visit the park yourself and see the area near the Funeral Mound for free.
The Greater Atlanta Chapter of the SGA will meet on March 13, 2012, at 7:30 pm to hear a presentation by Dr. Adam King who will be speaking about Mississippian imagery at the Etowah site located in Cartersville, GA. The meeting will take place at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.
While the Etowah mounds are large and imposing, and people used them over several hundred years during the Mississippian period, they were not continuously occupied. Read the story of the Etowah mounds in detail in Adam King’s Etowah: The Political History of a Chiefdom Capital (2003; University of Alabama Press), which is now available in paperback and ebook versions.
SGA Vice-President Tammy Herron and two colleagues, George Wingard and Keith Stephenson, attended the 75th Anniversary Reception on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at Ocmulgee National Monument. In a later ceremony, the SGA received a Certificate of Appreciation for helping to “preserve and protect the ‘Ocmulgee Old Fields’” and for helping to “create Ocmulgee National Monument” in 1936.
Ever wonder what an Indian mound was like in the late eighteenth century? In the mid-1770s, natural historian William Bartram traveled through what is now Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. He described his adventures in a 1793 volume Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws…. He describes a special round building the Cherokees used for important group activities. His architectural description gives a good idea of what careful archaeological excavation may reveal of a building like this.
Read “Examining Variation in the Human Settlement of Prehistoric Georgia,” by John A. Turck, Mark Williams, and John F. Chamblee in the Spring 2011 issue of Early Georgia (included in membership in the SGA) and you will better understand changes and continuities in the prehistoric occupation across the landscape of the area we now call Georgia. The trio apply statistical methods to the treasure trove of data stored at the Georgia Archaeological Site File in Athens to fine-tune our understanding of where people lived when in the past, and of how those patterns changed over time.
Archaeologists call the period when explorers from the Iberian peninsula first wandered through Georgia the Mississippian period. Charles Hudson, in Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun (1997), describes the clash of the two cultures that resulted, focusing on Hernando de Soto and the group of hundreds of soldiers, craftsmen, and hangers-on who traveled with him in the 1700s, and the people living in the towns they visited. What makes his book truly special is that he weaves together information from Spanish chroniclers with archaeological data, to produce a well-rounded tale of this poorly documented period in Georgia’s past.
Frontiers in the Soil is a classic in archaeological literature that should be useful to everyone. Using easy-to-read text by Roy S. Dickens, Jr., and creative color cartoon illustrations by James L. McKinley, Frontiers interprets Georgia’s past with humor in over 100-pages of delightful reading. Click here to download the order form for Frontiers in the Soil.
Archaeologists consider little things and big things. A little thing would be studying the soot on the outside of a pottery fragment to discover what species of firewood was used—and little things do have big implications. Cliodynamics is a new field that generates mathematical models of long-term social processes. The full story briefly examines cliodynamical modeling of late prehistoric Native American political units before the arrival of Europeans.
Track Rock Gap Site is the location of a series of rock carvings made by Native Americans in Union County, Georgia. It is one of the most significant rock art sites in the Southeastern United States. Track Rock is located on the Blue Ridge Ranger District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. A revamp of the site has allowed viewing the petroplyphs more enjoyable and information can be found at an interactive web site designed to be used by visitors while at the site.
Four archaeology students affiliated with Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University, and interning at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, presented the results of substantive research projects to members of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society (GAAS) and their guests on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011. The students have been working with GAAS President Dennis Blanton on data from a ca. 1540 village site in south Georgia. Read the full story for more information about their findings.
Charles Hudson, in his 2003 novel, Conversations with the High Priest of Coosa (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press), relies in part on archaeology to inform his presentation of imagined conversations between a Native American leader and a Spanish visitor in the early 1500s. Hudson used archaeological information along with archival materials to imagine the world views, or belief systems, of these two men from such different places and cultures. Coosa was a 16th-century chiefdom based in northwest Georgia. Consider how novelists have used archaeology to inform their stories….
James “Wes” Patterson of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History just attended his first SEAC conference. His essay is informative, humorous, and intriguing as one realizes that more happens at archaeological conventions than just lectures.
Take a look at the black-and-white images in Cyrus Thomas’s famous book Introduction to the Study of North American Archaeology, which was published over a century ago (you can download it for free). Thomas includes images of stone sculptures recovered from archaeological sites in Tennessee. Study these figures, and consider other sculptures of human images. What can you learn from these comparisons?
Visit the Georgia National Fair—October 7–17 in Perry, and step into the ArchaeoBus! We’ll have lots of information plus activities for kids! Kids can make a seed packet for next spring, and plant seeds Native Americans in Georgia used to cultivate! The full story has a downloadable Fair map with the ArchaeoBus location marked, and a downloadable handout about Native American agriculture in Georgia.
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.
Take a moment to browse some of the two thousand photographs the National Park Service has posted online from its Historic Photograph Collection. The posted photos include six of Ocmulgee National Monument, including one of the earthlodge while it was being excavated. That photograph dates to the 1930s.
On Saturday, May 16th, 2010, the Jones Archaeological Museum at the 320-acre Moundville Archaeological Park reopened after a two-year, $5 million renovation. The Moundville site is in Alabama, south of Tuscaloosa. Moundville is a multi-mound civic-ceremonial community dating to the Mississippian period.
Across the Southeast, before Europeans arrived, Native Peoples prized the wood of a tree that inhabited only a small portion of the vast interior of the North American continent. The tree is commonly known as the osage orange. The fruit of this tree looks like a lumpy bright green to yellow-green softball. The tree is thorny, too. Read the full story to learn why North American archaeologists ponder this strange species.
If you haven’t visited bartowdig.com recently (or ever!), now’s the time to do so! Read about the Leake Site, which is downstream of the Etowah Mounds and pre-dates it, and is on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2010 list of Places in Peril.
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.
The famous Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, just south of Cartersville, is now only open Thursdays through Saturdays, 9 am to 5 pm. On Saturday, the 3rd of October, however, you can join a special evening walking tour of the site by torchlight.
The SGA is proud to make a digital version of our 2009 poster celebrating the Society’s theme of this year’s Archaeology Month, Mounds in Our Midst. Mounds are easy-to-see remnants of Georgia’s prehistoric past, mainly built between 500 BC and AD 1550. Research over the last century and more indicates that these artificial, human-constructed features of Georgia’s landscape varied in their design and purpose.
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, [...]
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 [...]
Initial view of dugout canoe in 1970. In late December 1970, I assisted the Broward County Archaeological Society in the location, recovery, and restoration of an abandoned, twelve and a half foot long, cypress dugout canoe. It became the primary display in the small museum the group maintained for public education. My friend Keith Hunt [...]
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 [...]