The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization composed of interested members of the general public along with avocational and professional archaeologists. SGA has its roots in the late 1930s when a group of prominent individuals who shared a common interest in Georgia archaeology united. Archaeological excavations conducted by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Georgia during this time helped further fuel the group’s interests. The decrease in WPA archaeological activity coincided with the group’s decline.
After a ten-year hiatus, in the early 1950s several Georgia archaeologists reorganized the group and began the journal Early Georgia. In 1954 when the Georgia Historical Commission received funding, interest in the organization increased. The group continued to struggle throughout the sixties but by 1968 interest was renewed and a newsletter was started. Then in 1973, the organization, now officially named the Society for Georgia Archaeology resumed production of Early Georgia. The organization continued in its role as an interest-organization consisting of professional and avocational archaeologists and a small core group of interested members of the public.
The late 1980s found SGA beginning to make strides towards more public archaeological education. By the mid to late 1990s SGA experienced a rebirth on a large scale that included a refined mission statement and strategy, the creation of extensive goals and objectives established to achieve its new strategic plan, the establishment of active committees that conducted both internal and external projects to achieve these goals, partnerships and alliances with conservation and preservation organizations, an increasingly broad membership base, and a pro-active approach toward archaeological site preservation through public archaeological education and effective advocacy. Local affiliate chapters fluctuate in number and location, but have numbered as many as nine across the state.
As SGA entered the new millennium it enjoyed the unprecedented conditions of an ever-strengthening infrastructure; increased organizational name-recognition among its peers in environmental, historical, conservation, and education fields; expanded working relationships with state government agencies and individuals; a growing record of public education projects; and the support of public, private, and non-profit sectors of the state. The challenge in the ensuing decades is to maintain past successes while growing the organization to increase its reach and depth.