Heritage Under the Waters: the Archaeology of Georgia’s Reservoirs

Spring Meeting 2019

The SGA Spring Meeting will be held on May 18^th^ (Saturday), 2019 in Athens, GA at the University of Georgia’s Laboratory of Archaeology. We have planned an exciting schedule!  Our theme this May is “Heritage Under the Waters: the Archaeology of Georgia’s Reservoirs”. This meeting will be one day but will be packed with a variety of activities. There will be a self-guided tour of the UGA Laboratory of Archaeology with highlighted artifacts from reservoirs around Georgia. SGA will also be hosting members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for a panel discussion on collaboration beyond consultation in Georgia. This will be followed by a complementary catered lunch (gluten free and vegetarian options available) from a local favorite restaurant, Tlaloc, with traditional Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine. Lunch is courtesy of the Jerald Ledbetter Estate and the Coosawattee Foundation. Our keynote address will be by archaeologist David G. Anderson titled “The Russell Reservoir Investigations along the Savannah River: Looking Backward, Looking Forward”. To wrap up the day, there will be an archaeology-themed walking tour in and around the historic T.R.R. Cobb House in downtown Athens. Registration for this year’s Spring Meeting will be [on-site]{.underline} by [cash or check only]{.underline}. Registration costs include $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Please add $2 if you plan to attend archaeology walking tour. A schedule and other relevant information are listed below. If you have questions or require additional information or clarification, please e-mail KC Jones at [email protected]


Meeting Itinerary for Saturday, May 18, 2018

Laboratory of Archaeology, University of Georgia

1125 Whitehall Rd.

Athens, GA 30602

8:00-9:00am- GCPA member meeting

9:00-10:00am- Registration, coffee, and self-guided tour of the Laboratory of Archaeology *Registration on-site by cash or check only. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Please add $2 if you plan to attend archaeology walking tour.

10:00-10:30am- Business Meeting

10:30-11:30am- Muscogee (Creek) Nation Panel Discussion

11:30am-1:30pm- Lunch, coffee, and self-guided tour of the Laboratory of Archaeology

1:30pm- Keynote Address by David G. Anderson

2:30-3:00pm- Travel to T.R.R Cobb House, 175 Hill St.

Located just off of Prince Avenue in downtown Athens at the corner of Hill and Pope Streets, across from Firehouse #2. An entrance to the parking lot behind the house is located off Pope Street. Please park in this free parking lot.

3:00-5:00pm- Archaeology Tour of T.R.R. Cobb House

Archaeologist Gail Tarver from Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc., located in Athens, will lead us on a short walking tour along Prince Avenue, focusing on the history of two of Athens most important historic figures, in terms of both the development of the town and the University of Georgia, as well as their controversial roles regarding slavery and Georgia’s secession from the Union. We will visit the construction site at the former location of the T.R.R. Cobb House, where archaeologists were able to salvage artifacts and map subsurface features before their destruction. We will take a tour of the T.R.R. Cobb House museum, whose Foundation has underwritten the excavations and displayed the historic discoveries. Then we will walk around the yard of the first house constructed by Governor Howell Cobb, which has been painstakingly restored by a private family.

**Inclement Weather options are below

5:00pm- After the walking tour, the meeting will adjourn.

Those who are hungry and thirsty will have easy access to a variety of restaurants and watering holes in downtown Athens.


Keynote Abstract

“The Russell Reservoir Investigations Along the Upper Savannah River: Looking Backward, Looking Forward”

David G. Anderson*

The Richard B. Russell reservoir along the upper Savannah River was one of many constructed across the United States during the twentieth century. The fieldwork was completed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and remains the largest excavation program undertaken in the basin since the New Deal era investigations at the Irene and Deptford sites near Savannah. Numerous technical reports were produced, together with two popular volumes for the public, and the collections were carefully curated in a permanent repository where they have remained accessible and used to this day. A conscious effort was made by the agencies overseeing the work to examine the widest possible range of cultural resources, which included studies of prehistoric and historical archaeology, domestic and industrial architecture, history, oral history, and paleoenvironments. Although conducted nearly forty years ago, the approaches taken by the research and management team have direct relevance to current archaeological research. The archaeological record around the world is under increasing threat from climate change, including from factors such as sea level rise, increased storm frequency, erosion, and development associated with population growth and movement. As a result, archaeological mitigation planning and fieldwork on an unprecedented scale will be necessary if we are to save even a fraction of the record that will be lost. The Russell Reservoir project serves as a model of the kinds of approaches that will need to be taken if we are to meet this challenge moving forward.

*With contributions from Bennie C. Keel, John H. Jameson, James E. Cobb, and J. W. Joseph, and the many other people who participated in the investigations.

**Inclement Weather Options

  • Two groups of 12 for a tour of the Center for Applied Isotope Studies by Director, Jeff Speakman. This will be organized during lunch on Saturday if there is inclement weather.
  • Georgia Museum of Art, self-guided
  • Hargrett Library, self-guided

Posted online on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

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