Archive for June, 2008

Good Morning Class, Today We Will Discuss…
June 23, 2008

Prehistory of Georgia\’s Barrier Islands

Prehistory of Georgia’s Barrier Islands.

Just sit back and watch my nifty powerpoint show.

Report to Congress on Revolutionary War/War of 1812
June 22, 2008

Above is the CD version of a report that I authored (with lots of help from others, including Rita F. Elliott, Tracy M. Dean, and Debra J. Wells. Simply click the smaller icon and the .pdf file will download.

Six years later, the final results of this project have been completed by the National Park Service. Here is the press release:  press-release-nps-battlefield-report

Follow the link below to read and download the recently released report to the United States Congress by the National Park Service on the status of America’s Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and associated sites:

or you should be able to download it from here by clicking below:


I was head of a team that examined a list of sites in Alabama for this project. We prepared a lengthy report and compiled lots of primary data. The NPS report used our information to write their report. I also assisted Matt McDaniel in his study of Georgia’s battlefields, which he reported. Matt McDaniel also used some of the information for his Masters thesis at the University of Georgia, which is available for free download at their library website.

Glen Mary Plantation
June 22, 2008

Glen Mary plantation is a shining white gem in the green landscape of piedmont Georgia. Its owner, Marilyn Meyers, secured a grant from the Save America’s Treasures program of the National Park Service to document and preserve this important cultural complex.

Glen Mary at Sunrise

Initial archaeological investigations of the Glen Mary plantation in rural Hancock County, Georgia were conducted by the LAMAR Institute over one weekend in 2004. This limited effort identified several areas around the grounds of the manor house at Glen Mary that may have archaeological significance. Shown below is archaeologist and historic preservationist Tracy M. Dean uncovering a previously unknown walkway that lead to the main entrance of Glen Mary. In addition to her budding skills as an archaeologist, Tracy is an accomplished architectural historian. Recently, Tracy completed an extensive inventory of the built historical architecture of Hancock County for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The report of the Glen Mary plantation work is available for free online download as a .pdf file at this link. 84. Preliminary Archaeological Examination of the Glen Mary Plantation, Hancock County, Georgia. By Daniel T. Elliott, 2004 (0.7 MB).

Tracy Exposes Walkway

North End Plantation, Ossabaw Island, GA
June 20, 2008

Joey, Dave and Dan Digging in the Tabby

Woodstorks in the Morning

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

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


Dirt Under the Nails

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.

It’s the years and the mileage…
June 7, 2008

Most archaeologists that I know love Indiana Jones. The four movies are invigorating and they reinforce what we all became archaeologists for in the first place, well, sort of…
I have just returned from the theatre and the 4th movie in the trilogy. I liked it, I only caught one error in the chronology, if you don’t count the few thousand years that were jumbled up in the story, and that is, the movie is supposed to be based in 1957, but the Rolodex, which Indy has, was not in production until 1958. So, did he have access to a pre-production model or what?

Rolodex, not the one from the movie!

Tighten up there Steve and George–
But don’t stop making movies!

Joel Jones nominated for National Register?
June 6, 2008

Joel Jones, renowned Georgia archaeologist recently reached a major milestone of one-half century in age. Joel, a native of Rome, Georgia, has worked on many LAMAR Institute archaeological projects, as well as many decades of service to Universities and private Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firms. We honor him in 2008 and pose the question, should someone nominate him for the National Register of Historic Places? Or, perhaps he has been too remodeled and modified over the years to meet the eligibility requirements? Nawh! Rita and I made him a pop-up book for his birthday (our first attempt). Below are a few pages from the book, which is titled:
Tripod Jones and his Crowfield Adventures.

Hurray for Duct Tape!No field project is complete without 160 bottles of cheap champagne.