Archive for the ‘GPR’ Category
Have You Seen This Battlefield?
October 19, 2014
Mystery on Tybee Island
October 13, 2014
From the Savannah Morning News:
Looking for Pearls:
Spanish mariners leave mystery on Tybee
By Ben Coggins, Savannah Morning News, October 10, 2014
Do you remember the Uncle Remus story about Brer Rabbit and his misadventures with the silent Tar Baby? One after another of the aggravated Brer Rabbit’s hands and feet got hopelessly stuck until he tricked Brer Fox into getting him loose.
Since 2006, Tybee Island resident Frank Drudi has been captivated by a different sort of Tar Baby — one that is 500 years old and from Trinidad.
When Frank’s neighbor was digging a swimming pool, Frank said he could put the sand from the hole onto his empty lot. When the sand was spread, he found three heavy rough discs, clearly man-made. On the edge of each was an impressed seal that Frank recognized as a Spanish Cross.
That started the research wheels turning. What were these artifacts, dug up barely a hundred yards from the Tybee lighthouse? And what clues did the four letters S-O-C-G in the quadrants around the cross provide?
Daniel Elliott of the Lamar Institute performed an exhaustive archaeological survey of Frank’s lot, now described as the Drudi tract. He used ground-penetrating radar and systematic sampling to look at Frank’s property, but nothing else turned up.
Frank discovered that the discs were made of tar that Spanish mariners of the 16th century used to seal leaks in their ships’ hulls. Tar that came from a huge pitch lake at La Brea, Trinidad, discovered by Columbus in 1498.
From poring over history books and talking to experts on early Spanish exploration of the Southeast coast, Frank has arrived at a persuasive theory of when and how the tar objects came to Tybee.
In 1521, two navigators sailing together out of the Caribbean, under contract to different aristocrats, both claimed land surrounding Winyah Sound near Georgetown, S.C. Claiming land for the crown and the sponsor involved performing a standard ceremonial ritual and recording the event by ship’s notary.
A legal dispute followed over who had rights to explore and settle the vast coastal area. The king of Spain, Charles of Ghent, decided in favor of Luis Vasquez de Ayllon, whose captain had performed the ritual hours ahead of the other claimant.
Having the authority to explore this barely-charted coast, in 1525 Ayllon sent Pedro de Quejo to do further reconnaissance and double-check the desirability of Winyah Bay for settlement. Taking no chances on establishing claims this time, Ayllon instructed Quejo to place stone markers with the king’s name and the date.
Not a single one of those stone markers has been found. But according to Quejo’s logs, his first stop was at latitude 32.0 degrees.
Sound familiar? That’s Tybee.
This means that on May 3, 1525, the first Europeans to set foot on Georgia soil did it on Tybee sand. And the river that Quejo named the Rio de la Cruz on that date is the Savannah River.
Frank figures that, when no stones were around to erect as markers, Quejo formed markers of his own. A composite of sand, grass, and the caulking tar he had on board. And what more natural point for the claim than the location that was later chosen in Oglethorpe’s day for the lighthouse?
In July 1526, Ayllon set sail from Hispaniola with six ships and 600 settlers straight to Winyah Bay. But the mother ship foundered on a sand bar before landing. Many supplies were lost, the area was not as suitable for agriculture as described and there were too few Native Americans with whom to work and trade. So, Ayllon improvised a Plan B.
His expedition sailed south searching for a better location. On Sept. 29, 1526, they established the settlement of San Miguel de Gualdape. Somewhere along the Georgia coast, maybe on Sapelo Sound, and named perhaps for the Guale Indians of the area. Ayllon himself died of illness there. The colony lasted about six weeks before the survivors sailed home, and its site has never been found.
Maybe Frank Drudi’s markers hold a clue. Frank has looked long and hard at these tar babies, trying to coax more answers from them. But like Brer Rabbit, now he’s a bit stuck.
When he heard about the West Chatham Middle School students who were studying early Spanish missions along the Georgia coast, he decided to see if their young minds could bring new eyes and ideas to answer some of his questions. Why haven’t more of these tar objects been discovered elsewhere? What do the letters S-O-C-G mean?
Frank deputized me to carry the tar markers, almost 60 pounds each, like they were Faberge eggs, to show to the students. It was a good move.
The students and their teachers, Mrs. Jacquelin Harden and Mr. Josh Wonders, were very interested to see these old relics that are, so far, one-of-a-kind.
And they offered fresh insights. Samantha Jenkins suggested searching for references to “rough asphalt cylinders” in explorers’ narratives and that the letters may be initials for a church. Francheska Gonzalez suggested that there are more and larger markers nearby and always on the southern shores of their rivers.
Several of the students speak Spanish, so they may discover Spanish-language journals, diaries or records that refer to the markers or the voyages. Regan Gayadeen said she has family in Trinidad and would get them involved to look for similar tar objects in museums and collections around La Brea.
Diamond Folston and Sade Baker had experience making charcoal rubbings of cemetery headstones, so they took rubbings of the Spanish crosses to study more closely. Jack Steuwe commented on the markers’ plasticity, and Nicholas Bergeron on their symbolism.
Some students were intrigued whether the seals stamped in the markers were made ahead of time in Hispaniola or on board the ships as situations changed. All three of the Drudi objects have the same imprint, but in other locations might different letters be used? And maybe we should search for the wooden stampers that were carved to impress the seals — like searching for the branding iron and not the brand.
Could the markers have been moved at all by Indians? Are the letters really S-O-C-G, or are they D-O-C-G? Does C-G stand for Carlos de Gante (King Charles of Ghent) as Frank assumes or for something else? Could the G stand for Gualdape? The S for San or Santa?
Students Cameron Myers, John Winters, and John Tyner lingered to look at the markers from all sides. They pointed out the wood impressions on the undersides and holes that might have been for lifting them. They suggested X-raying the markers to see if they contained medals or coins put in by the seamen who fabricated them.
They suggested that 3-D scans be made of the markers, so that they could be 3-D printed and examined by other researchers. And they suggested that, with high definition, perhaps the wood grain and grass imprints might help tell the story.
Tybee DPW Superintendent Danny Carpenter is equally fascinated. He has found hundreds of artifacts from the Civil War, the Fort Screven era, and even from the lost Martello Tower.
He says, “These tar markers are a Tybee mystery, like the Tybee Bomb. But I think they are far more significant.”
He and Frank are hopeful that the West Chatham students make a breakthrough, crack this Da Vinci code and get the tar babies to reveal their secrets.
For more background information on Frank Drudi’s discovery, read and learn at:
127. Archaeological Reconnaissance at the Drudi Tract, Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia. [With Supplement: Identity of the Drudi Objects, 2009]. By Daniel T. Elliott, 2008. (2.6 MB).
Archaeology Exhibit Opens at Magnolia Springs/Camp Lawton Site in Jenkins County, Georgia USA
October 7, 2014
PRESS ITEM, October 7, 2014
MILLEN, Ga. (AP) — Civil War artifacts from a former prison are set to go on display at Magnolia Springs State Park near Millen.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Magnolia Springs History Center is set for Tuesday. The agency says Camp Lawton was built to relieve overcrowding at Andersonville Prison.
Archaeologists and students from Georgia Southern University have been excavating the site since 2009. They’ve found items such as a pipe, coins, a ring, buttons, buckles and stockade wall posts. Some of them will be displayed in the new museum and some will stay at the university.
Magnolia Springs State Park is five miles north of Millen. In addition to the museum, visitors can tour original Confederate earthworks, as well as the springs and boardwalk.
[Elliott notes: I look forward to seeing the museum exhibit. The LAMAR Institute was happy to be part of these discoveries!]
Caledonia is a Rock Star!! Brier Creek! Brier Creek! Caledonia! Caledonia!
Efforts underway to preserve Revolutionary War battlefield
By Rob Pavey
Friday, April 11, 2014 7:59 PM
SYLVANIA, Ga. — More than two centuries after a daring British surprise attack routed American forces at Brier Creek, new efforts are underway to preserve one of Georgia’s least explored Revolutionary War sites.
“This battlefield has all the components very rarely seen in preservation,” said archaeologist Dan Battle, who has spent the past year assessing the Screven County historic site to determine what secrets it might still hold.
The Battle of Brier Creek unfolded March 3, 1779, when a British force of 1,500 men led by Col. Marc Prevost circled back on Gen. John Ashe’s encamped Patriot army, which included about 1,700 soldiers.
The late afternoon attack was a complete surprise. About 150 Americansdied, while hundreds of others were captured. The fleeing survivors left behind their arms, food and supplies.
The British victory was so decisive scholars believe it prolonged the American Revolution by a year, changing the course of U.S. history.
Today, much of the site lies within the 15,100-acre Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area owned by the state of Georgia and managed for hunting and fishing – but not specifically for historic preservation. Portions of the battlefield and related camps sprawl onto private tracts. Although the area is marked by a bronze historical commission marker erected in 1956, little has been done in terms of formal archaeology.
Battle’s company, Cypress Cultural Consultants, began evaluating the area last year with funding from a Transportation Enhancement Act matching grant obtained by the city of Sylvania.
Objectives of the cursory assessment include pinpointing certain battle features – and possibly graves of the soldiers who died there.
Although a final report isn’t due until later this year, the results are encouraging.
Using technology known as LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, three-dimensional maps were used to identify the defensive line hastily arranged by the Patriot forces. Further studies helped locate other key areas, which are remarkably intact.
“The American camp is still in good shape – not pilfered,” Battle said. “We’ve also come across a site where the Patriots were manufacturing musket balls, which is unique in its own right.”
Teams extracted about 600 items that were carefully preserved and recorded and will undergo curation and analysis at University of Georgia. “There are things from the camp, from the American lines – and we even know where the exchange of gunfire occurred,” he said.
As historic battle sites go, Brier Creek’s remoteness is part of its charm – and also its curse.
“The only thing that happened out there was the battle – then it got left alone,” he said. “It’s one of the best preserved sites in the country.”
Its secluded setting, however, makes it vulnerable to tampering by relic looters, and possible degradation through land management programs, such as timber harvesting.
Lee Taylor, regional game management supervisor for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division, said state officials are doing all they can to protect the resources at Tuckahoe, but will need a final report with hard data and recommendations.
“We are anticipating getting the final report from the surveyors by the end of the year, so Wildlife Resources Division and the Historical Preservation Division can develop a comprehensive management plan for the WMA,” Taylor said. “To date we have received no information from the survey.”
In the meantime, DNR keeps the area patrolled and under the watch of its officers, who will arrest anyone caught digging or looting. The area is also posted to warn against using metal detectors.
Maintenance at Tuckahoe, including road scraping, is conducted carefully and will not include any excavations deeper than past activities, Taylor said.
Any proposed logging activity will be screened by the Historic Preservation Division’s Archaeology Section, he said. Currently, however, “no timber operations have been proposed for Tuckahoe WMA.”
The ultimate objective, he said, will be to preserve the area’s cultural resources while also making sure Tuckahoe remains available to the public for hunting and fishing – the purposes for which most of the site was purchased in 1989, using license fee revenues from Georgia’s anglers and hunters.
“The Georgia DNR will continue to rigorously protect intact portions of the site and ensure the entire battlefield is managed appropriately,” Taylor said.
One of the biggest mysteries of the Battle of Brier Creek involves where the American soldiers killed in battle were buried, and by whom.
Based on details from comparable battles of the Revolutionary War, the dead were likely moved into piles, near where they fell, and are probably in mass graves, Battle said.
As far as who buried them, one piece of the puzzle turned up in an unlikely place: the archival records of the Dallas (Texas) Historical Society.
It was there that references were found that the British Army’s 71st Highlanders ordered Loyalists from nearby South Carolina to bury the casualties, starting the day after the battle. Other clues emerged from maps and regimental records identified in the New York Public Library.
Efforts to locate graves have included the use of “cadaver dogs” specially trained to detect the scent of human remains, even if those remains are centuries old. The surveys yielded positive hits, but further studies would be needed to confirm what lies beneath the surface soil.
Battle believes the presence of Patriot casualties should earn the site more attention in the future.
“Over 150 U.S. soldiers and militia are buried on the battlefield, not found or ever celebrated by America,” he said, adding that George Washington is believed to have visited the area during his Southern tour and said prayers for the killed Americans.
“The forces at Brier Creek were a multinational force that included soldiers from almost every state of the 13,” he said. “Many of Georgia’s Continentals were actually recruited from Pennsylvania and Virginia.”
Preliminary findings will likely recommend more detailed explorations in the future, but such projects are expensive – and tend to move slowly.
“That’s why one of the most needed things at the site is a management plan,” said Dan Elliott, president of The Lamar Institute, a non-profit group that works with universities and state and federal agencies to conduct archaeological research.
The findings so far indicate the battlefield was impacted by farming – in particular plowing – in the past, but is still relatively intact.
“In the bigger picture, things aren’t too bad,” Elliott said. “Plowing disturbs things, but even if some of the site was farmed over the centuries, it doesn’t move things too far.”
Many artifacts discovered by the teams were left “in situ,” or in place, without being disturbed. Items were removed only from the shallow surface layer of disturbed soil, or “plow zone,” he said, and deeper items that were identified and left alone were mapped for future reference.
Although the lead musket balls and decaying metal fragments buried in the sandy soil have little monetary value, they have a tremendous value in their ability to tell a compelling story if properly extracted, Battle said.
“It’s really rare to be able to put things you find in the ground into a particular day and year,” he said. “Usually, you’re lucky if you can even get the right century. We have a chance, right here in this battlefield, to study that.”
Archaeology is Happening in Georgia!
January 20, 2014
Below are links to several recent newspaper articles about archaeology projects in coastal Georgia where LAMAR Institute researchers have been active. Both of these projects, the Brier Creek Battlefield Survey and the Isaiah Davenport House Museum excavations, are ongoing. The Brier Creek project is directed by Cypress Cultural Consultants, LLC with archaeologist Daniel Battle serving as the project’s field director and Daphne Owens as Principal Investigator. The LAMAR Institute has assisted at Brier Creek with skilled labor, loan of equipment. The Davenport project is a LAMAR Institute project with Rita Elliott serving as its PI. Both projects are telling us great things about the past and we look forward to bringing more of these discoveries to the public eye.
BRIER CREEK BATTLEFIELD STORIES
History in Screven County can be Revolutionary- article by Enoch Autry, January 17, 2014, Sylvania Telephone:
ISAIAH DAVENPORT HOUSE MUSEUM ARCHAEOLOGY STORIES
Slave artifacts found at Ga. highway project site
December 1, 2013
Slave artifacts found at Ga. highway project site – WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports
December 1, 2013
Short Version of Russ Bynum’s AP article:
Wilkes County, Georgia – Archaeologists with the LAMAR Institute discovered the location of Carr’s Fort, a significant frontier fortification that was attacked on February 10, 1779. The discovery was funded through grants from the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, and The LAMAR Institute. The month-long search by a team of six researchers encompassed more than 2,700 wooded acres of the Beaverdam Creek watershed. Battlefield archaeology at Carr’s Fort yielded about a dozen fired musket balls, several musket parts and several hundred iron and brass items from the 18th century.
Robert Carr was a Captain in the Georgia Patriot militia and by 1778 his frontier home became a fort for more than 100 soldiers. In late 1778, the British launched a campaign to reclaim the southern colonies, which included a major recruitment effort among the frontier settlers. On February 10, Carr’s Fort was occupied by 80 Loyalists (Tories) led by captains John Hamilton and Dougald Campbell. Almost immediately, 200 Georgia and South Carolina Patriot militia, who had been hot on the trail of the Loyalists, laid siege to the fort in an attempt to take it back. An intense fire fight raged for several hours, in which more than a dozen were killed or wounded on each side. Patriot forces, commanded by Colonel Andrew Pickens, were ordered to break off the siege after he received word of that larger party of 750 Loyalists advancing from the Carolinas. The Patriots rode off taking the Loyalist’s horses and baggage with them. The Loyalists marched several hundred miles back south to rejoin the main British invasion force. Several weeks later, Captain Carr was killed at his home by a raiding party of Loyalist Creek Indians, while his wife and children escaped.
“The search for Carr’s Fort was like looking for a needle in a haystack, only harder. We had no map and few descriptions of the fort, so its location was entirely unknown. Historians and land surveyors provided some clues to about a dozen potential target areas, which helped narrow the search. The LAMAR field team discovered Carr’s Fort on the last hour of the last day of the field project. Although our funds were depleted, I had no trouble convincing my crew to return with me to volunteer with me for another day or two to better establish the identity of the archaeological finds as Carr’s Fort”, stated Daniel Elliott, President of the LAMAR Institute. The archaeological team used metal detectors to systematically comb the woods for any evidence of the fort and battlefield. Each find was labeled and carefully plotted using GPS technology. More than a dozen 18th century settlements were located, but none of these proved to be the fort.
Wilkes County was a hot-bed of revolutionary fervor during the American Revolution. The discovery of the archaeological remains of Carr’s Fort indicates great potential that remnants of more than 30 other forts in Wilkes County may still exist. The identification of such resources can provide important new information on Georgia’s role in the American Revolution and how this international conflict affected remote frontier settlements.
Researching, locating, identifying, and interpreting fortifications and battlefields is one of The LAMAR Institute’s research focuses. This includes the Colonial, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War periods. Prior investigation of Revolutionary War sites has included the battle fields of Kettle Creek, New Ebenezer, Sansavilla Bluff, Savannah, and Sunbury. A complete report on the Carr’s Fort Battlefield project will be available to the public in early 2014.
Supplemental: And I forgot to note, thus far we have seen zero evidence for cannibalism at the site. Metadata: cannibalism
Chieftains Museum Redacted
March 7, 2013
And Hey, Why not check out this cheezy abstract? Written by the jerks that produced this redacted report:
“ABSTRACT: Chieftains Museum/ Major Ridge Home, Historic Preservation Report, Historic Structure Report and Cultural Landscape Report
For the purposes of developing this combined Historic Structure and Cultural Landscape Report, the National Park Service, in conjunction with Chieftains Museum, determined additional historical research was needed to find information relevant understanding and interpreting to the building and landscape history. NPS and Chieftains agreed that historical research should be undertaken at the thorough level as defined in NPS’ Cultural Resource Management Guideline (1995:18). In the Spring of 2004, Chieftains Museum entered into contract with Southern Research Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc. to undertake the historical research for this project. Based on a research plan approved by Chieftains Museum and NPS, Southern Research prepared successive drafts of a document presenting the results of their research effort. Southern Research consulted many sources and the results are presented in an edited form in the second and third sections of this report. In general, the results of the research were less than what was hoped for and additional research would likely further benefit the overall understanding and interpretation of the history and current state of the Chieftains property.”
So, it was good enough to lift it wholesale and stick it in sections 2 and 3 of this report, I’ll take that as a positive review!–the lead ghost writer for Chapters 2 and 3.
Great New Book Out! particularly Chapter 11.
November 1, 2012
Rita Ann Veronica Folse Elliott, M.A., R.P.A., G.C.P.A. has yet another publication under her garter. It is an edited volume by Todd Andrlik, entitled “Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It was History It was News”. On sale now at Amazon.com and other fine book vendors. Follow this link:
HERE IS THE LINK: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365255141/
This link goes to an online version of the upcoming Time Team America episode on the search and discovery of Camp Lawton Confederate prisoner of war camp near Millen, Georgia. I was a part of the team, I got the hat and the minimum wages from Oregon Public TV. We did our GPR and other remote sensing work over about 10 acres the days before the circus began. Rita Elliott and I drove up to see the circus but carefully avoided getting in front of the camera. We were there the day that the stockade wall was discovered (I got some rare video footage of that on my iphone). Our LAMAR Institute colleague, Daniel E. Battle, was part of the circus. Dan Battle actually discovered the juicy archaeological stuff at Camp Lawton back in December, 2009. That is all documented in our LAMAR Institute report number 161
Dan Battle also made the first discoveries of the Confederate guard’s camp, which I think is a MAJOR find too. Congratulations to Dan Battle!
Meg, the blonde lady with the red cart, was the boss of the geophysical team, of which I was part back in October 2012. That was about four days of craziness where we covered a huge area, probably the largest acreage of geophysical work ever done in Georgia. Meg did a masterful job in pulling it all together. Congratulations to everyone who played a part in this important discovery! I hope you enjoy the movie.
You may also watch the Time Team America discovery on your regular television set via your local PBS affiliate. Just check their schedules for time and dates.
UPDATE 3/6/2013, James K. Chapman’s M.A. Thesis, entitled, COMPARISON OF ARCHEOLOGICAL SURVEY TECHNIQUES AT CAMP LAWTON, A CIVIL WAR PRISON STOCKADE, is mirrored at the following link: Tchapman_james_k_201201_mass
Over the past week a team of archaeologists converged on the CSA Camp Lawton prison site at Magnolia Springs, near Millen, Georgia determined to make major discoveries. Their goal was realized on Thursday and Friday when three walls of the prison stockade were confirmed by excavation. Earlier in the week a smaller team of geophysicists scurried over the landscape with high-tech tools busy making maps of the subsurface environment. Ground Penetrating Radar, Electro-magnetics and Flux gate gradiometers were among the tools used to search for remains of the Civil War prison. Excavations ended today (Friday Oct 5) with several major finds capping a week of many grand discoveries. The Time Team America episode on the Camp Lawton investigations will air next year. Meanwhile, readers may wish to read the writings of John Derden, Daniel Elliott, or Daniel Battle. The LAMAR Institute’s report is available online for free download at
Raw video footage of the discovery may be seen on Youtube.com (shown below):
Stockade Wall Found at Camp Lawton
Article by Bryan Tucker, State Archaeologist
Preservation Posts, November 2012, Issue 42,
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
By DeAnn Komanecky
Prayers for those who died long ago filled the sanctuary and grounds of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Saturday during services held for those buried in at least 250 unmarked graves outside the walls of the church’s cemetery.
Many of the graves belong to slaves, buried just south of the church cemetery that contains generations of the area’s descendants, the Salzburgers.
Other unmarked graves are also located outside the cemetery’s brick walls, on the side nearest the New Ebenezer Retreat Center. The graves may contain those of soldiers and civilians who died during the Revolutionary War.
The graves were identified by a team, led by Dan Elliott, with the LAMAR Institute. The work was done with the support of the Georgia Salzburger Society. The institute is a nonprofit archaeological research organization. The team used ground-penetrating radar to find the graves with no disturbance of the soil. The work was done in 2010 with the purpose of determining the cemetery’s lines.
A British-built Revolutionary War fort was also built in 1779 at Ebenezer and its octagonal shape has been previously marked by Elliott. According to unit rosters from the time, some 500 soldiers died of natural causes while at Ebenezer.
In Elliot’s report of the archaeological findings, he noted that the earliest marked grave in Jerusalem Cemetery is dated from 1813 and very few engraved markers exist prior to 1830. Elliot also reports that while burial records for New Ebenezer exist from 1736 through the 1800s, they are inconsistently documented.
Saturday’s services were led by the Jerusalem Church, and their sister church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah. Holy Trinity is the only Black Lutheran Church in Savannah, member Ditric Leggett said.
Leggett said he spent time as a child coming to Ebenezer and to be back for this event was memorable.
“It’s like coming home for us (the congregation),” Leggett said.
Being a part of a cemetery dedication for so many slaves that were in Effingham County made Saturday a special day, for Eva Goldwire of Clyo.
“Our family name came from John Goldwire, a slave owner in Guyton,” she said. “It gives me chill bumps to be here.”
Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA, told those attending any differences in life among those buried at Ebenezer are gone.
“In death they are the same. Whatever differences in life, they were miniscule and they are reconciled in Christ. We are all free,” Gordy said. “We are all loved, treasured and welcome at the banquet tab le of the kingdom of God.”
The History Underneath
May 8, 2012
The LAMAR Institute is proud to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming discussion on Archaeology in Savannah on May 12, 2012 (2PM) at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square. Interested folks may wish to attend.
The pictured Rita Elliot looks a lot like a Rita Elliott that I know.
I’d like to invite you to attend a panel discussion on archaeology on May 12th at 2:00 at Trinity Church on Telfair Square- please see attached flyer. There will be a reception afterwards. Also please forward to others who may be interested.
Special thanks to our reception sponsors: The LAMAR Institute and Coastal Heritage Society.
Our partners in the project are: Metropolitan Planning Commission, Chatham County Resource Protection Commission, Trinity Church, Chatham County, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic District Board of Review, City of Savannah and the Chatham County Historic Preservation Commission, The LAMAR Institute and Coastal Heritage Society.
Ellen I. Harris, LEED A.P., AICP
Cultural Resource and Urban Planning Manager
Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission
110 East State Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Tel.: (912) 651-1482
Fax: (912) 651-1480
Past Perfect in Savannah:
Rita Folse Elliott lectured on the subject of Savannah’s underground. The talk on April 17, 2012 began with a free reception at 6:30PM at the Kennedy Pharmacy at 323 East Broughton Street. For more information:
Drudi Objects of Tybee Island
March 25, 2012
Here is a link to a recent television news story on Frank Drudi and his discovery of the “Drudi Objects” at the mouth of the Savannah River on Tybee Island, Georgia:
For additional info, consult my report on the subject at:
127. Archaeological Reconnaissance at the Drudi Tract, Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia. [With Supplement: Identity of the Drudi Objects, 2009]. By Daniel T. Elliott, 2008. (2.6 MB).
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Archeologists have used ground-penetrating radar to determine exactly where a Fort Klamath soldier barracks stood in the late 19th century.
“It’s a pretty exciting moment,” said Todd Kepple, Klamath County Museums manager. “No trace of this building was visible for the 44 years the county has owned this property. We had no idea exactly where anything was except for the flag pole.”
University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History archeologists on Wednesday used metal detectors and radar to find where the barracks stood at the Fort Klamath military post, established by the U.S. Army in 1863 to protect settlers as they settled in Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin Indian territory.
The museum was awarded a Preserving Oregon $10,000 grant to pay for the work. Archeologists went over three sites, but found substantial evidence only at the barracks site.
“To us, this is wild West . history,” said Paul Baxter, an archeologist. “To (tribal members), it’s family history.”
The fort was decommissioned 17 years after the Modoc War, a result of the U.S. government forcing three different American Indian tribes to live together on one reservation. A Modoc Indian the Army called Captain Jack led his tribe off the reservation and the Fort Klamath cavalry was ordered to bring them back.
After a year of battle, Captain Jack was captured and hanged; his grave is at the Fort Klamath Museum.
In 1966, Klamath County acquired 8 acres of the once expansive fort. In its heyday, the military outpost contained 80 buildings stretching from the museum to the town of Fort Klamath.
But in the 75 years the fort was under private ownership, buildings were allowed to disintegrate, leaving nothing but nails and, archeologists discovered Wednesday, a foundation.
“(Wednesday) was a banner day for us,” Kepple said. “It was the first time we’ve been able to turn back the pages of history and see the fort the way it was 120 years ago.”
News Article by Sara Hottman, Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com
Savannah’s Revolutionary War Discoveries | WSAV TV
February 2, 2011
An earlier Civil War battle in Savannah, 1779
January 14, 2011
On October 9, 1779 American and British armies clashed on the west side of Savannah, Georgia. The armies and their allies, including Haitian, Irish, Scottish, German, African-American, Polish, and Danish officers and private soldiers, engaged in a deadly conflict that proved to be one of the costliest for the Americans in the American Revolution. The war in the South was pretty much a civil war, as neighbors split between Patriots and Loyalists. Savannah contains the forensic evidence of this battle, as unearthed by archaeologists. Come hear this story on February 1, 2011 in Savannah. The LAMAR Institute is proud to be one of the sponsors of this important work.
Archaeology Press Release January 14 2011by Savannah Under Fire on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 5:35pm
What ever happened to all that Revolutionary War archaeology being done in Savannah? What did archaeologists discover? How can people who live, work, and play in Savannah and Chatham County become involved with archaeological sites? Can preserving sites help the area’s economy and quality of life? Come to an archaeology presentation and public meeting Feb. 1, 2011 to find out and to offer suggestions. Coastal Heritage Society will reveal Revolutionary War discoveries in Savannah stemming from the two “Savannah Under Fire” projects conducted from 2007-2011. The projects uncovered startling discoveries, including trenches, fortifications, and battle debris. The research also showed that residents and tourists are interested in these sites. Archaeologists will describe the findings and explore ways to generate economic income and increase the quality of life of area residents. Following the presentation the public will be invited to offer comments and suggestions about such resources. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to provide input. The meeting is sponsored by the Coastal Heritage Society, through a grant from the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. It is free and open to the public. Time: 6-7 p.m. Location: Savannah History Museum auditorium, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah, Georgia (same building as the Visitors’ Center on MLK). Date: Feb. 1, 2011. Thanks!!
Donate to LAMAR Institute–Carr’s Fort Project and Beyond
December 30, 2010
Here are some of our active projects that could use some financial support:
- Pre-Civil War Forts Inventory
- Skeletons in The Closet Initiative
- The Lost City Survey
- Native Georgia Landscapes
- Fort Hawkins Archaeological Project
Get Your Archaeology Books? Support Archaeology!
December 30, 2010
Donate to LAMAR Institute using Razoo:
U.S. Prisoner Artifacts Found At Georgia Site
October 1, 2010
My pretty picture made it into the print version of this article, but so so sadly, not in the online edition. I need to check my cell phone more often. Oh, and the site was actually discovered by Daniel Battle, who is missed entirely by the press. But that’s O.K. because I specifically told him not to go over there. Good think he doesn’t listen!
Camp Lawton Prison Survey Report
September 27, 2010
Announcing the release of:
LAMAR Institute Publication Series, Report Number 162. GPR Delineation and Metal Detection Reconnaissance of Portions of Camp Lawton, Jenkins County, Georgia. By Daniel T. Elliott and Daniel E. Battle, 2010 (7 MB).
Louie Binford of “The Archaeologists Archaeologist” had this to say: “Fantastic, so magnifico, you must read this report tonight, before you go to bed, and before you brush your teeth!”
Archaeology society series kicks off Tuesday | islandpacket.com
September 15, 2010
Yuchi Indians return to native land | savannahnow.com
September 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Daniel T. Elliott, The LAMAR Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 2992, Savannah, GA 31402
LAMAR Institute Aids in Discovery of Confederate Prison Near Millen
(MILLEN, GA., July 31, 2010; UPDATE October 6, 2012) The LAMAR Institute, Inc. participated in a search for Camp Lawton, a military prison built north of Millen, Georgia by the Confederates in late 1864 to house more than 30,000 U.S. Army prisoners. The search for the prison began in December, 2009 with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey for the southwestern corner of the prison stockade at Magnolia Springs State Park. After getting a feel of the topography and the likely layout of the prison site as generally conceived, some discrepancy in the only available historical maps became evident to the research team. The two maps available for reference seemed less accurate than previously thought. A minimally-invasive evaluation was performed with a metal detector . This tool, augmented along with GPR data, was used to get a feel of whatever prison “footprint” might still be present. Promising areas were immediately identified. One particular area, however, clearly stood out as likely being inside the prison and possibly adjacent to a stockade wall boundary, The discoveries were made south of a small creek documented as running directly through the prison yard. Armed with this new evidence, a quick reassessment of the prison layout was theorized. The long held belief, that the larger portion of the prison site was now the location of the Bo Ginn Aquarium facility and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services fish hatchery, came in question. An unexplored wooded area just west of this facility was now suspected to contain a portion of the Civil War prison. A quick reconnaissance of the wooded tract was made. Our crew believed that this property was within the Magnolia Springs State Park property. This particular tract had changed hands several times in recent years and was currently Federally-owned property under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As it turned out, this misunderstanding yielded huge dividends in unmasking the ruins of Camp Lawton, After a very limited and quick evaluation by Georgia Southern University (GSU) anthropologists, the true site of the prison was confirmed. The brick ruins of a documented brick oven complex built fot the use of the prison., was tentatively identified. If this is indeed one of the brick ovens, and the placement of this feature on historical maps was accurate, then the location of the prison shifts further to the west of what was previously theorized. Further testing by GSU confirmed that this was the correct prison site location. Camp Lawton, once thought to be an insignificant Civil War site in our state, now appears to offer a great opportunity for understanding the daily life of Prisoners of War during the War Between the States.
UPDATE!!! OCTOBER 4th 2012—
Here is video from October 4, 2012 showing the deep trench and palisade post remnant along the southern stockade wall at Camp Lawton. Unearthed by Time Team America–at the location where GPR survey by The LAMAR Institute’s geophysical team indicated a large, deep soil disturbance most likely to be Camp Lawton. Other video footage showing the feature is posted on youtube.com.
National Park Service News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 7, 2010
David Barna: (202) 208-6843
Kristen McMasters: (202) 354-2037
Monteith Swamp Battlefield Receives $40,000 Grant
National Park Service supports preservation efforts
WASHINGTON – The LAMAR Institute, Inc. has received a grant of $40,000 from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to complete the first archeological survey and investigation of the Battle of Monteith Swamp site in Georgia.
“We are proud to support projects like this that safeguard and preserve American battlefields,” said Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “These places are symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage that we must protect so that this and future generations can understand the struggles that define us as a nation.”
This grant is one of 25 National Park Service grants totaling $1,246,273 to preserve and protect significant battle sites from all wars fought on American soil. Funded projects preserve battlefields from the Colonial-Indian Wars through World War II and include site mapping (GPS/GIS data collection), archeological studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, preservation and management plans.
Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for National Park Service battlefield grants which are awarded annually. Since 1996 more than $12 million has been awarded by ABPP to help preserve significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil. Additional information is online at http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp. To find out more about how the National Park Service helps communities with historic preservation and recreation projects please visit http://www.nps.gov/communities.
Editors Note: For additional information about this project, please contact Daniel Elliott, LAMAR Institute, Inc., at (706)341-7796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to the Islands
June 2, 2010
For those of who that are Ground Penetrating Radar geeks, or people who have an interest in Georgia’s barrier islands, I just uploaded two short research reports on the subject. Fieldwork for both (St. Catherines Island and Sapelo Island) were done in 2006 and it has taken me this long to put them on the web. These two reports are located at the LAMAR Institute’s report website (Reports 91 and 92).
Dawn of American Industry: Ebenezer Silk
February 27, 2010
Please download and enjoy our presentation, “Dawn of American Industry: Ebenezer Silk” by Daniel Elliott, President, The LAMAR Institute and Rita Elliott, Curator of Exhibits and Archaeology, Coastal Heritage Society. This keynote address was presented before the Georgia Salzburger Society at their Landing Day celebration that was held at the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2966 Ebenezer Road, Rincon, Georgia, USA on March 13, 2010. Here is the link: DawnofAmericanIndustry_EbenezerSilk
December 21, 2008
Burial Site Sheds Light on Prehistoric Indian Culture
State archaeologist David Crass of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said prehistoric cremations were rare, particularly during the early time in which preliminary evidence suggests this one occurred, possibly 1000 B.C. to A.D. 350. [Elliott's comment: actually, C-14 dating results, which were obtained shortly after this press release was written place the age of this pit in the Mississippian period, well after the Woodland period estimated age.] The remains also mark the first cremation uncovered on Ossabaw, a state-owned Heritage Preserve about 20 miles south of Savannah.
“This interment broadens our knowledge about … the kinds of belief (involving) death within the Woodland Period,” Crass said. “This is not something we have seen before on Ossabaw Island. Similar cremations on St. Catherine’s Island may point to this practice being more widespread than we have believed up to now.”
Crass said during this time American Indians in Georgia moved to the coast in the winter for shellfish, then inland in the spring for deer hunting and into uplands in the fall for gathering nuts. “This site may have been a winter season camp,” he said.
Erosion from natural causes exposed the burial on an Ossabaw bluff earlier this year. Scientists from the DNR Office of the State Archaeologist, the non-profit Lamar Institute and the Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns worked under the council’s direction to excavate the roughly 6- by 6-foot pit. As required by state law, Crass informed the council about the situation and organized the excavation at the group’s request.
The work on Georgia’s third-largest barrier island revealed a cremation pit that had been lined with wood and oyster shells. The body had been placed on top of the wood and the contents of the pit burned. The human remains recovered were primarily from extremities, indicating that the deceased had been disinterred after cremation, possibly to be reburied elsewhere.
The charcoal will be submitted for carbon 14 dating, but preliminary analysis of the pottery recovered from the pit suggests the cremation may date to the Refuge-Deptford Phases in the Woodland Period, c.a. 1000 B.C. to A.D. 350. A ground-penetrating radar survey showed many prehistoric American Indian features in the general area, Crass said. The bluff apparently had long been a focal point of prehistoric Indian life.
After analysis, the remains will be reinterred in a secure location under the auspices of the Council on American Indian Concerns. Crass expects the carbon 14 dating results and details on the radar survey by early next year.
Human history runs deep on Ossabaw. Shell mounds and other artifacts here date to 2000 B.C. More than 230 archaeological sites have been recorded. Spanish records indicate the island probably had an early Guale Indian village, according to The New Georgia Encyclopedia. But long before the first European contact on Ossabaw, possibly through the Spanish in 1568, small pox and other diseases unwittingly introduced by the Spanish in Mexico and South America had swept north, devastating populations of native Americans.
Crass said it’s not known what Indians were on the island when the cremation pit was used. But because of its discovery thousands of years later, more will be learned.
Access to Ossabaw is limited to approved research projects and hunts managed by the DNR’s Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. Details at http://www.georgiawildlife.com. Information on visiting the island for research and educational purposes is also available from The Ossabaw Island Foundation’s Jim Bitler, email@example.com.
The Wildlife Resources Division works to protect, conserve, manage and improve Georgia’s wildlife and freshwater fishery resources. The division’s mission also includes managing and conserving protected wildlife and plants, administering and conducting the mandatory hunter safety program, regulating the possession and sale of wild animals, and administering and enforcing the Georgia Boat Safety Act.
The Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia DNR serves as Georgia’s state historic preservation office. The Historic Preservation Division’s mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia. Programs include archaeology protection and education, environmental review, grants, historic resource surveys, tax incentives, the National Register of Historic Places, community planning and technical assistance. For more information, call (404) 656-2840 or visit http://www.gashpo.org.
Photo available from Helen Talley-McRae (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rick Lavender (email@example.com). Caption information: DNR staff archaeologist Jenn Bedell and Council on American Indian Concerns archaeologist Tom Gresham examine artifacts from the cremation excavation on Ossabaw. (Credit: Ga. DNR)
DNR RSS news feeds: http://www.gadnr.org.
Click here for Russ Bynum’s (AP) newstory on our recent excavation on Ossabaw Island, which contains more recent date information:
Savannah’s Colonial Park Cemetery & GPR
October 20, 2008
On October 15 and 16, we (Coastal Heritage Society and LAMAR Institute archaeologists and volunteers–the Morris family from Ogden, Utah, conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of a portion of the Colonial Park cemetery in Savannah. We examined the southeastern corner in search of a British Revolutionary War fortification ditch. We also mapped in many unmarked human graves and crypts. The results will be published very soon. A good time was had by all. A few pictures of the project follow.
The work was tedious but fruitful.
Stay tuned for the answer…
Bonaventure Cemetery GPR Demonstration 2007
August 24, 2008
The LAMAR Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 2992
Savannah, Georgia 31402
The LAMAR Institute is a 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to conduct archaeological and historical research and educate the public about archaeology and history. The focus of the organization is on the Southeastern U.S. In 2001, the organization added Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey to its list of offered archaeological services. GPR survey is useful for creating 3-D subsurface maps of various cultural features, such as cemeteries and human graves, cellars, fortification ditches, and buried debris fields.
The LAMAR Institute GPR Team uses a RAMAC X3M Ground Penetrating Radar system (developed by Mala GeoScience). Shielded 500 MHz and 800 MHz antennae are used. Areas are typically surveyed with parallel radargrams spaced at 50 cm intervals. The GroundVision software program is used for data collection. Once it is collected, GPR field data is post-processed using Easy3D and GPR-Slice software. The field survey is accomplished by a two-person team.
Laboratory Analysis and Reporting
The GPR survey includes post-processing of the data and completion of a GPR Survey report. A series of GPR plan maps and side (profile views) are generated and included in the report. These maps will be annotated to areas of interest, which will be addressed in the report narrative. Examples of The LAMAR Institute’s GPR Survey reports are found on our website at http://lamarinstitute.org/reports.htm. Relevant GPR project reports found on this website include Report Numbers 61, 64, 73, 76, 88, and 102.
Staff and Corporate Qualifications
Mr. Daniel T. Elliott serves as top GPR specialist at the LAMAR Institute. Mr. Elliott has more than 32 years experience in professional archaeology in Georgia. He has served as Principal Investigator on dozens of archaeological projects in the Southeastern U.S. both large and small. He is recognized as a professional field archaeologist by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) and is a member in good standing (and past President of) the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists (GCPA). Mr. Elliott received his M.A. degree in 1980 in Anthropology from the University of Georgia and has since been employed by federal, state, and private corporations as an archaeologist. He currently serves as President of The LAMAR Institute, which is a non-profit organization in Georgia whose mission is to conduct archaeological research and promote education about archaeology and history in the Southeastern U.S. Mr. Elliott is trained and has more than seven years experience in the use of Ground Penetrating Radar on archaeological sites in Georgia and South Carolina.
Mr. Elliott has participated in GPR field training exercises in Denver, Colorado, Alexandria, Louisiana, Fort Frederica National Monument, Glynn County, Georgia and Athens,Georgia. These include classes taught by Dr. Larry Conyers and Dr. Dean Goodman. Both of these gentlemen are distinguished experts in the field of GPR survey and analysis, particularly in its application to archaeological sites. Mr. Elliott also has extensive experience in documenting and delineating historic and prehistoric sites in the Southeastern U.S. by using more traditional research methods.
A list of the LAMAR Institute’s past GPR projects include:
- New Ebenezer and Jerusalem Cemetery, Effingham County
- Horton House and DuBignon Cemetery, Jekyll Island, Glynn County
- Sunbury, Sunbury Cemetery, and Fort Morris, Liberty County
- Hope VI Development, Waldburg Street Site, Savannah, Chatham County,
- Sansavilla Bluff, Wayne County
- Woodbine Mound and historic cemetery, Camden County
- North End Plantation, Ossabaw Island, Chatham County
- Jones Cemetery, Greenwood Plantation, Thomas County
- Bethel-Gould Cemetery, Chatham County
- Gwinnett-Bosomworth Plantation, Liberty County
- Fort St. Andrews, Camden County
- Bullshead Bluff Cemetery, Camden County
- St. Simons Village, Glynn County
- Fort Hawkins, Bibb County
- Nash Farm Battlefield, Henry County
- Genesis Point Plantation, 4 Aboriginal Sites, Bryan County
- Drudi Tract, Tybee Island, Chatham County
- Railroad Ward, Savannah, Chatham County
- Savannah Revolutionary War Battlefield, Chatham County
- Beaufort National Cemetery Expansion, Beaufort County
- Coosaw Island Community Center, Beaufort County
- Theus Plantation, Beaufort County
The LAMAR Institute has a competitive pricing schedule for their GPR Survey work. The amount of area that can be covered on a weekly or daily basis is contingent on the ground conditions. Generally, survey can be accomplished at a rate of 1,600 square meters per day, or about two acre per week.
Daniel Thornton Elliott, Curriculum Vitae
B.A., Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1976
M.A., Anthropology, University of Georgia, Athens, 1980
Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Survey Training Course, Cultural Resources GIS, National Park Service, Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, 2001
Ground Penetrating Radar Training Course, Mala GeoScience USA, Charleston, SC, 2002
GPR Training Course, Larry Conyers, Denver University, Denver, CO, 2003
ArcGIS Training Course, ESRI, Charlotte, NC, 2004
GPR-Slice Training Course, v. 4.0 & v.5.0, Dean Goodman & USFS, Alexandria, LA, 2004 & 2005 & 2008
1987-Present Research Archaeologist, LAMAR Institute, Inc., Savannah, GA.
1995-2004 Senior Archaeologist, Southern Research, Ellerslie, GA.
1998-1999 Archaeologist, Elderhostel Programs, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA.
1994-1995 Archaeologist, Diachronic Research Foundation, Columbia, S.C.
1992-1994 Senior Archaeologist, Garrow & Associates, Inc., Athens, GA.
1993 Archaeologist, French Huguenot Project, Francis Marion National Forest, S.C., Yale University.
1991 Archaeologist, Tutu Archaeological Project. St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands.
1990 Archaeologist, Hurricane Hugo Archaeological Recordation Project, Government of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands.
1990 Archaeologist, Law Environmental, Inc., Kennesaw, GA.
1989 Archaeologist, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C.
1988-1992 Archaeologist, Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc., Athens, GA.
1988-1994 Archaeologist, New South Associates, Inc., Stone Mountain, GA.
1988-1990 Archaeologist, Brockington and Associates, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
1987 Crew member, Petersburg Underwater Survey Project, Clark Hill Reservoir, GA. East Carolina University, Department of Maritime History and Underwater Research, Greenville, North Carolina.
1986 Volunteer, Lake Phelps Canoe Recordation Project, East Carolina University, Department of Maritime History and Underwater Research, Greenville, N.C.
1986 Volunteer, Underwater Field School, East Carolina University, Department of Maritime History and Underwater Research, Greenville, N.C. and the Bermuda Maritime Museum
1984-1988 Archaeologist, Garrow & Associates, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
1982-1984 Archaeologist, Sumter & Francis Marion National Forests, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Greenwood, S.C.
1982 Archaeologist, Soil Systems, Inc., Marietta, GA.
1982 Archaeologist, Memphis State University, Department of Anthropology, Memphis, TN.
1981 Archaeologist, Gilbert Commonwealth Associates, Inc., Jackson, MI.
1981 Archaeologist, Southeastern Wildlife Services, Inc., Athens, GA.
1981 Archaeologist, Soil Systems, Inc., Topeka, KS.
1980-1981 Archaeologist, Southeastern Wildlife Services, Inc., Athens, GA.
1980 Archaeologist, Guy Weaver personal services contract with the TVA, Hartsville, TN.
1980 Archaeologist, University of Florida, Department of Anthropology, Gainesville, FL.
1977-1979 Archaeology Research Technician, University of Georgia, Department of Anthropology, Athens, GA.
Ground Penetrating Radar Experience
2002-GPR Survey, New Ebenezer, Effingham County, GA.
2002-GPR Survey, Fort Morris, Liberty County, GA.
2002-GPR Survey, Horton House and Plantation, Jekyll Island, GA.
2003-GPR Survey, Waldburg Street Site, Hope VI Development, Savannah, GA.
2004-GPR Survey, Sunbury, Liberty County, GA.
2004-GPR Survey, Sansavilla Bluff, Wayne County, GA.
2004-GPR Survey, Woodbine Mound and historic cemetery, Woodbine, GA.
2004-GPR Survey, Beaufort National Cemetery and Proposed Expansion Area, Beaufort, S.C.
2005-GPR Survey, North End Plantation, Ossabaw Island, GA.
2005-GPR Survey, Jones Cemetery, Greenwood Plantation, Thomasville, GA.
2005-GPR Survey, Bull Plantation, Coosaw Community Center, Coosaw Island, Beaufort County, S.C.
2006-GPR Survey, Gould-Bethel Cemetery, Chatham County, GA.
2006-GPR Survey, St. Simons Island Village, Glynn County, GA.
2006-GPR Survey, Fort Hawkins, Macon, GA.
2006-GPR Survey, Railroad Ward, Savannah, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Bosomworth-Gwinnett Plantation, St. Catherines Island, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Chocolate Plantation, Sapelo Island, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Tannery, Old Clinton, Jones County, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Fort St. Andrews, Cumberland Island, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Bullhead Bluff Cemetery, Camden County, GA
2006-GPR Survey, Beaulieu Plantation, Chatham County, GA
2007-GPR Survey, Nash Farm Battlefield, Lovejoy, GA
2007-GPR Survey, Fort Jackson National Historic Site, Savannah, GA
2008-GPR Survey, Theus Plantation, Beaufort County, SC
2008-GPR Survey, Savannah Revolutionary War Battlefield, Savannah, GA
2002 Ground Penetrating Radar Survey at the Horton House Site. Rocquemore Radar Research, Box Springs, Georgia. Submitted to Southern Research, Ellerslie, Georgia.
2003 Archaeological Investigations at Fort Morris State Historic Site, Liberty County, Georgia. Southern Research, Ellerslie, Georgia.
Elliott, Daniel T., and K. E. Sassaman
1995 Archaic Period Archaeology of the Georgia Coastal Plain and Coastal Zone. Georgia Archaeological Research Design Papers Nos. 7 and 8. University of Georgia, Athens.
Elliott, Rita F., and D. T. Elliott
2000 Guten Tag Bubba: Germans in the Colonial South. In Colonial Adaptations to the New World: A View from Georgia and the Carolinas, edited by J. Joseph, III, and M. Zierden. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Mark Williams, and Daniel T. Elliott, editors
1998 A World Engraved, Archaeology of the Swift Creek Culture. University of Alabama Press, University, Alabama.
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More on Kettle Creek
July 4, 2008
Archaeologists seeking to solve Kettle Creek puzzles, asking for local folks’ help
A group of archaeologists and historians have spent several days recently looking for missing pieces of the Battle of Kettle Creek puzzle, and they think the public can help them with the puzzle, too.
A team of archaeologists, historians, and students braved heat, thick woods, and impassable stands of thistles to explore the land around War Hill on a four-day fieldwork session June 12-17, hoping to locate artifacts from the Revolutionary War battle and, piece by piece, expand their knowledge of the battle.
On a previous visit to War Hill, archaeologist Dan Elliott of the Lamar Institute, Inc., and his teams had used metal detectors to find bullets and other metal objects that might have been left during the 1779 battle. They found some 32 possible battle relics, including round balls of smaller caliber bullets – buck-and ball load for non-military muskets. They also found, and recycled, modern artifacts including 15 pounds of shotgun shells, .22 shells, and beer cans.
“The way those battle relics were distributed on one particular side of the hill gave us a direction to search,” Elliott said Saturday as he examined the day’s first finds. “Based on that distribution, we got access from adjacent landowners so we could come back this week and explore areas we would expect to find the Patriot positions as they attacked the Loyalists.”
They have indeed found more bullets, and a distinctive shoe buckle from that period, part of a brass bell, and other objects. But the real value of the object is in the information that it gives about how it got there. “Each object tells us a little bit of the puzzle,” said Charles B. Baxley, editor and publisher of Southern Campaigns of the Revolution. “Dan Elliott is helping geo-reference with formal archaeology the history that has been passed down.”
Geo-referencing locates exactly the fall of bullets, for example, shot and unshot, to map exactly where the militia soldiers actually were during the battle.
That data will be combined with historical research, looking in library collections, deeds and plats, veterans pension applications and muster lists to form the most accurate history of the battle possible. “We’ll gather up all that archaeology and history can tell us,” Baxley said, “and hope that we have enough to tell the story.”
And neighbors in Wilkes County who have explored the area for years can help document the battle’s history. “We know folks have been out here with metal detectors for 40 years,” Elliott said, “and we’re not looking to prosecute anybody and we sure don’t need another bullet. But what we do need is information. We’d just like to know what you found, and where you found it, best you can recall. That information is what’s important to us, and any information could really be a great deal of help.”
To share information on old Kettle Creek finds, contact the City of Washington’s Main Street Manager David Jenkins in the City Hall Annex, or call 706-678-4654.
[EDITING NOTE: Elliott, not Elliot]
Kettle Creek: Patriots 1, Loyalists 0
July 4, 2008
Kettle Creek dig providing new insights into 1779 battle
WASHINGTON – An archaeological dig in Wilkes County has opened a 229-year-old window to one of the pivotal points in the early years of the American Revolutionary War – and there’s evidence that it’s not exactly the way the history books tell it.
For centuries following the Feb. 14, 1779, battle at Kettle Creek, stories passed down through the generations pitted 350 Patriots against 700 Loyalists on only 12 acres of land.
But archaeologists have found evidence that the three-hour running battle stretched over at least 500 acres of property surrounding the traditional site where a monument and cemetery now stand.
Nine men and women working with The LAMAR Institute, a Savannah-based nonprofit archaeological research organization, last month unearthed dozens of musket balls, buttons, pieces of weapons and evidence of small farmsteads during a five-day dig on the 500 acres of property.
The study, funded through a $40,000, two-year grant from the National Park Service and the city of Washington, could lead to plans for a battleground park, city officials have said.
Each discovery in last month’s dig gave researchers a look into the day when the militiamen routed twice their number in new British recruits and made Southerners think twice about staying loyal to the Crown.
“This, by all accounts, was a guerrilla war,” said Dan Elliott, LAMAR Institute president and archaeologist. “This was neighbor against neighbor.”
And neighbors were definitely part of the battle – even if they didn’t want to be involved.
Evidence of at least three farmsteads – hand-wrought nails, collapsed chimneys and horseshoes – were found during the dig about 500 feet south of the battlefield monument, along with a few musket balls.
SLIDESHOW: Check out an audio slideshow as Dan Elliott with the LAMAR Institute talks about the Kettle Creek dig:
“Right now, we’re getting a rough idea of what life was like for people when this battle was raging on around them,” Elliott said.
The Patriots lost only seven men in the Battle of Kettle Creek, but dozens were injured and taken to a location north of War Hill – the traditional battlefield site – for treatment, researchers found.
Archaeologists found evidence during the dig to back up their theory about the location of this field hospital.
At least 18 buttons, likely from clothing that was ripped off men in order to treat their wounds, were found in one concentrated area – an unlikely discovery in an area that over the years has been picked over by artifact seekers, Elliott said.
The Kettle Creek battle was a vicious fight between Loyalists recruited by Col. James Boyd in South Carolina to fight on the side of the Crown and Patriots who were not ready for Georgia to be claimed by the British.
Historical accounts of the battle say an army led by Col. Andrew Pickens, Col. John Dooly and Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke tracked Boyd on his way to Augusta as he circled around through Wilkes County to avoid a Patriot army encamped on the Savannah River.
Pickens split his men into three groups and tried to sneak up on Boyd’s recruits while they camped at Kettle Creek, but scouts saw them.
Boyd was able to muster about 100 men to meet Pickens’ 140 at the top of a steep hill. Boyd was mortally wounded, causing the new troops to panic and retreat back to the camp.
Dooly was stuck in a canebrake on one side of the camp, but Clarke charged in from the other side.
In the end, 20 Loyalists were killed and 22 taken captive. About half the rest went back to South Carolina and the other half went on to Augusta, Elliott said.
Archaeologists believe they found the location of the Loyalists’ last stand.
Southwest of the traditional battlefield, metal detectors uncovered musket balls and musket ball fragments from a secluded hill off of Salem Church Road.
The fragments likely are evidence that musket balls hit trees as the loyalists crouched behind for protection, said David Battle, assistant director of the LAMAR Institute.
Researchers hope to label the musket balls as Patriot- or Loyalist-owned by determining the caliber and amount of lead found in each bullet, Battle said.
The rough terrain obviously was no problem for the Patriots, he said.
“These were woodsmen,” Battle said. “They were good shots who were used to fighting behind stumps and trees.”
Elliott said researchers likely will release an officially report of the team’s findings later this year.
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 070308
North End Plantation, Ossabaw Island, GA
June 20, 2008
The John Morrell family built a plantation on the northern end of Ossabaw Island in Georgia. Curiously enough, it was known as North End plantation. John Morrell was of Swiss ancestry and came to Georgia with his parents from Purysburg, South Carolina. That was in 1760, zoom forward to 2004. The LAMAR Institute was added to the historic preservation team to document, explore, and restore the remains of the North End Plantation. This project was funded by a “Save America’s Treasures” grant, other grants from the Robert Woodruff Foundation, my buddy the actress from Tybee Island, and others. Over the next three years a series of archaeological field visits documented aspects of this important barrier island plantation. That research was documented in two voluminous technical reports, authored by me with contributions from several others. The first of these reports is available online at the LAMAR Institute’s website in .pdf format. Visit http://lamarnistitute.org/reports.htm
The second report is not widely available yet. This particular project captured the interest of the local, state, and national media. Photo of dig at top right is by Stephen Morton, a great photographer! Photo below is credited to a famous Savannah photographer. Photo of the woodstorks is by me and taken in the morning at North End Plantation. More archaeology and history work at the North End plantation is in the works. And here are a few other links that give a different perspective:
Smithsonian Magazine, by Eric Wills
Associated Press (AP), by Russ Bynum (photos by Stephen Morton)
Preservation Online, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, by Rachel Adams (photo by Stephen Morton)
Getty Images, by Stephen Morton
Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Stacy Shelton
Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Mike Toner
Connect Savannah, by Michael Jordan (no, not the basketball player)
The Ossabaw Oracle, by the Ossabaw Island Foundation
Kettle Creek Battlefield
June 19, 2008
The LAMAR Institute’s archaeological team completed fieldwork of the Kettle Creek Revolutionary War battlefield this week. Now the fun part begins, washing, analyzing, mapping, etc. We found several areas related to the battle over about a 1,000 acre or more area. It was a dizzying assortment of metal detectors, GPS and GPR devices and bug spray. The ticks were only moderately bad and we only saw one copperhead and it was dead. A report is due in November. I have attached a photo of folks surveying a Revolutionary War cemetery with the GPR equipment. Shown here are project volunteers, Sheldon, Judy, and Gail. The cemetery, which was created in the 1970s, contains mostly cenotaphs and relocated grave markers but the GPR survey should indicate which markers are truly grave markers.
Nash Farm Battlefield Park Opens
March 31, 2008
Here is a Youtube link to a video interview with B.J. Mathis as she discusses the recent history of the Nash Farm battlefield park at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMqMH9ynI-8
Henry County’s Nash Farm Battlefield Park is Now Open!
March 15, 2008, Hampton/Lovejoy, Georgia
Henry County, Georgia officially opened it’s Nash Farm Battlefield Park for daily public use on this date. This 204 acre park occupies the site of a fierce Civil War Cavalry battle and a later major Infantry battle. The park, located along the Clayton-Henry County line east of Lovejoy, Georgia, is mostly in former cattle and buffalo pasture and it represents a fast-disappearing rural landscape on the outskirts of metropolitan Atlanta. In 2007 the LAMAR Institute conducted a historical archaeology survey of the battlefield. The report from this study, authored by Daniel Elliott and Tracy M. Dean, was submitted to Henry County Government in August, 2007. This same report is available to the public online at this link:
Click the link below for a .pdf version of the LAMAR Institute’s report on the Nash Farm battlefield:
or for a copy of the same report in Microsoft Word format, click on:
Nash Farm Battlefield: History and Archaeology, LAMAR Institute Publication Series, Report 123. The LAMAR Institute, Savannah, Georgia, 2007.
For more historical information, visit Henry County’s website for the Nash Farm Battlefield Park at http://www.henrycountybattlefield.com/
Atlanta’s Sprawl Threatens Georgia’s Greenspaces.
Kettle Creek Revolutionary War Battlefield Project
March 31, 2008
SEEKING PRIMARY DOCUMENTS ABOUT THE BATTLE
We are currently searching for primary documents relating to the February 14, 1779 battle at Kettle Creek in Wilkes County, Georgia. If you have any letters, maps, military documents, or other primary records from the time of the battle, or other (reliable) secondary documents that are obscure, we would love to see them and take a digital photo for use in our current research project. If you would like to help, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kettle Creek Battlefield
Archaeological survey of the Kettle Creek battlefield in rural Wilkes County, Georgia began in February 2008. A second phase of the field survey will continue to build on the discoveries made during the initial work. The battle of Kettle Creek on February 14, 1779 was a fight between North Carolina and South Carolina Loyalist militia and Georgia and South Carolina Patriot militia. The Patriots emerged the victors in this three hour firefight. Although casualties were relatively slight, this Patriot victory sent a powerful signal to the British invaders that Loyalist support in the Southern colonies was far less than expected. The survey will make detailed topographic maps of the battlefield and carefully locate and recover battle related artifacts. This project is funded by the US Dept Interior, National Park Service, Preserve America grant program and the City of Washington, Georgia.
Daniel T. Elliott
P.O. Box 2992
Savannah, Georgia 31402
United States of America
Robert Scott Davis, Jr., Georgians in the Revolution: at Kettle Creek (Wilkes Co.) and Burke County. Southern Historical Press, . Easley, 1986.Janet H. Standard, The Battle of Kettle Creek: A Turning Point of the American Revolution in the South. Wilkes Publishing Company. Washington, GA, 1973.
March 31, 2008
Phone: (912) 651-6850
Location: Battlefield Memorial Park, corner of MLK and Louisville Rd., Savannah, GA
Visit the Coastal Heritage Society’s webpage at http://chsgeorgia.org for more information.
A one-of-a-kind hands-on experience with archaeology. Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about the “real-life CSI” techniques historical detectives employ to learn secrets from the past. Activities, puppet show, ground penetrating radar (GPR) demonstration–Fun for adults too! Sponsored by the Savannah History Museum, Coastal Heritage Society, Savannah.
KEEP TUNED TO THIS STATION FOR ARCHAEOFEST 2009!