Archive for May, 2017

Georgia Archaeology Month Reveals Many of Savannah’s Archaeological Sites Facing Destruction
May 3, 2017

Georgia Archaeology Month 2017

While May is officially Georgia Archaeology Month, Savannah has little to celebrate. This year’s Georgia Archaeology Month poster features the CSS Georgia ironclad shipwreck site in Savannah. This site is being excavated and documented for the future. Unfortunately, it is one of the very few important archaeological sites in Savannah that is being saved. Most of Savannah’s archaeological sites – whether they are Civil War sites, colonial sites from General Oglethorpe’s day, 8,000 year old Native American sites, or many others – have no protections from destruction. The City of Savannah has no archaeology ordinance to protect its valuable, unique, and non-renewable history located underground.

These archaeological sites are the only places that can reveal unique history of African Americans, Native Americans and European and Asian Americans. Once destroyed their information, stories, and artifacts are gone forever. A comprehensive archaeology ordinance would protect this information by preserving such sites, or in cases of development, by excavating the sites before they are destroyed forever by construction.

Daniel Elliott, President of The LAMAR Institute, in Savannah notes that, “Savannah leaders continue to fall victim to the myth that archaeology will slow or stop development. In reality, archaeology benefits development, heritage tourism, education, and a better quality of life for residents. It is unfortunate that Savannah city leaders have failed for thirty years to recognize this fact. Unlike educated, cultured cities such as Alexandria, Virginia, St. Augustine, Florida, and dozens of others in America, Savannah has been a poor steward of the very cultural resources that can benefit it.”

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