To learn more about the upcoming workshop on Metal Detecting for Archaeologists, visit this website:
Archive for the ‘civil war’ Category
Savannah Needs Archaeology!
June 19, 2016
Article from Savannah Morning News, June 18, 2016:
Petition urges protection of Savannah’s buried past
‘Archaeological ordinance’ would require builders to consider historic remnants
Within a city block-sized hole immediately north of downtown’s Drayton Tower apartment complex, excavators have been moving earth deep below the surface to make way for a new hotel. The project is just one of multiple developments underway or pending in Savannah’s Historic District, now that construction activity has picked up after the 2008 recession.
The renewed building activity has recently revived a decades-long effort to protect the city’s underground historic resources.
Archaeologist Phillip Ashlock said seeing the Drayton Street hotel development was a motivating factor behind an online petition he recently posted, which urges the city to adopt an archaeological ordinance.
The large hole in the Historic District, just west of Colonial Park Cemetery, was another reminder that Savannah has no archaeological requirements in place for city or private projects, Ashlock said.
The goal of the petition is to garner support for building requirements that would help prevent the loss of historic resources, Ashlock said, in addition to persuading the city to hire an archeologist who would coordinate preservation efforts. His aim is not to stop development, Ashlock said, but to make sure there is a review process for developers to follow to preserve and document historic sites.
“The past doesn’t belong to anybody,” he said. “We’re stewards of what came before us, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it.”
As of Friday afternoon, Ashlock’s petition on Change.org was more than halfway toward meeting his goal of 1,000 signatures.
The petition is raising awareness about the issue as the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission creates an incentive for developers to voluntarily conduct archaeological studies.
Under the policy, developers that agree to perform studies for large-scale projects would be permitted to build an additional story beyond the area’s height limits. Four percent of the project’s cost, with a cap of $500,000, would have to go toward archaeology, outreach and education.
The incentive approach is a change in direction after an attempt about four years ago to develop an archaeology ordinance failed to move forward, said Ellen Harris, MPC director of urban planning and historic preservation. Options considered at the time varied from only requiring archaeological assessments for public projects to also mandating that private developers conduct evaluations, with potential incentives to offset additional costs.
The reasoning behind the ordinance was explained in a planning commission memo that said large segments of the underrepresented community — such as slaves, women and immigrants — could be more thoroughly understood through archaeology. Also, 95 percent of the area’s past is considered prehistoric and archaeology remains the only effective means of studying the 13,000-year-old heritage, the memo stated.
Archaeology helps tell the story of the people who built the buildings, Harris said.
“That story isn’t told in the structure anymore,” she said.
That abandoned 2012 endeavor followed a previous failed attempt in the late 1980s. At that time, the planning commission approved an ordinance that would have established an archaeological review policy for city projects, in addition to prohibiting the removal of artifacts from city-owned lands.
The ordinance was never approved by the mayor and aldermen, however.
“We just haven’t had a champion at the city council level for it,” Harris said.
With a new council in place, the issue could be brought back for consideration.
Savannah Alderman Bill Durrence, who represents the downtown Historic District, said last week that he was surprised to learn the city does not have an archaeology ordinance in place. The lack of a policy was something he would look into, Durrence said.
“That’s kind of odd, considering our history,” he said.
Most people in Savannah have no idea the city does not have an archaeological ordinance, either for city or private projects, said Rita Elliott, education coordinator and research associate with the Lamar Institute archaeological nonprofit. Elliott said she has been supporting the effort to “get the ball rolling” for implementing protections for 30 years, but that the lack of community awareness to the issue has played a part in the planning commission’s failed attempts to get regulations enacted.
“I think they need public support,” she said.
The false perception that archaeology and development can’t coexist is another barrier to an ordinance, said Laura Seifert an archaeology professor at Armstrong State University. Archaeology would just be another component of the historic review process, Seifert said, and the cost and time it takes could be built in if developers know their responsibilities at the start.
“If there is good planning, it shouldn’t be a problem,” she said.
Certain projects that receive state or federal funding are required to conduct archaeological studies. That requirement was why Chatham Area Transit had to have a site evaluation performed in 2012 when it was building a transit center on Oglethorpe Avenue west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The archaeologists for that project evaluated two brick wells found on the site, which were believed to date back to the 18th century. The excavation work uncovered artifacts from the 1700s, as well as ceramic shards dating back an estimated 1,500 years, said the project’s archaeologist, Angus Sawyer. More artifacts would likely have been discovered if it wasn’t for the damage caused to the site by the construction of a bus station there in the early 1960s, Sawyer said. Now more than 50 years later, Sawyer said, that damage continues throughout the city.
“There is a story under Savannah that is being lost piecemeal,” he said.
Digging versus archaeology
Historic artifacts are discovered regularly during construction projects. Recently, workers dug up about 50,000 19th century bricks hand-crafted by slaves, known as Savannah Greys, during the construction of a hotel on the south side of River Street at MLK.
A stoneware jug dating back to the early 19th century was also recently discovered during the construction of a ferry shelter on River Street north of City Hall.
The handle was broken off by machinery during the project, but the rest of the jug is intact and in the city’s possession after Luciana Spracher, Savannah’s library and archives director, heard about the discovery and rushed down to claim the artifact.
“I’m not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t found out about it,” Spracher said.
However, Ashlock said the discovery of an artifact is not the same as determining the historic object’s story.
“Context is very important,” he said. “Digging is different than archaeology.”
Savannah would not be the first city to adopt protections for its buried past. Other governments that have adopted archaeological ordinances include St. Augustine, Beaufort County, and Hilton Head.
Alexandria, Va. has one of the best models, Harris said.
That city’s archaeological protection code requires the evaluation of a project on a case-by-case basis. The developer is only required to hire an archaeological consultant to conduct research after it is determined there is potential for archaeological resources to be impacted.
Local architect Patrick Shay said requiring some sort of historic investigation makes sense, but that an archaeological ordinance would have to be carefully crafted so it doesn’t make it impossible for development projects to move forward.
“It can get in the way of people using their property the way they want to,” Shay said. “It depends on how it’s worded, but it’s got merit.”
Shay’s firm designed the Rockbridge Capital hotel now being built along River Street, where the Savannah Grey bricks were found. An ordinance requiring work be halted in the middle of a project when such discoveries are made could be problematic for the developer, Shay said.
“If the rules are too strict, it can make it unlikely it is reported, frankly,” he said.
Jim Schrim, senior vice-president of real estate for Rockbridge, said during the project’s recent groundbreaking that the historic bricks would be cleaned and reused at the hotel.
Shay’s firm also designed the cultural arts center the city plans to build directly west of the downtown Civic Center. The arts center site at Montgomery Street and Oglethorpe Avenue is where a three-story private residence known as the Wetter House previously stood from about the mid-19th century to 1950. Noted for the ornamental iron railings that ran along the balconies circling the first and second floors, the house was torn down to make way for a used-car dealership and auto repairs.
The city decided not to conduct any further archaeological studies for the arts center project, since a previous survey was performed about 16 years ago when the site was being considered for the CAT transit center, according to city officials. While a full-scale excavation was not performed, an examination of a limited area on the site failed to locate any significant features and further study was not recommended, according to the survey report.
While it won’t be the same as archaeology, Shay said there are plans to investigate the site when the former parking lot’s concrete surface is torn up for the project.
With construction set to begin this summer, the arts center is among the millions of dollars worth of projects expected to soon break ground. In addition, developer Richard Kessler has announced plans to begin construction next month of an estimated $250 million hotel project along West River Street.
Without an ordinance in place, the revitalized building activity can mean the death of archaeological sites, Elliott said.
“When the source is destroyed, you don’t have that history anymore,” she said.
CSS Georgia Teacher’s Workshop 2016
April 29, 2016
From STEM to Stern: CSS Georgia Shipwreck
Dive into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as well as English Language Arts, and History/Social Studies in this exciting Teachers’ Institute focusing on the Civil War ironclad shipwreck sunk in 1864 in the Savannah River adjacent to Savannah and recovered in 2015 by underwater archaeologists. Use elements from the wreck, its history, and underwater archaeology to engage your students in learning state performance standards as well as Next Generation Science Standards. As a workshop attendee you will participate in a variety of hands-on activities that you can replicate in your classroom, have the opportunity to question underwater archaeologists following presentations, collect sonar data with underwater archaeologists in a boat over the wreck site, gather and interpret data, create your own lesson plans, and obtain resource materials for your classroom. The workshop is recommended for 4th-12th grade teachers and is open to a total of 20 teachers from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties, Georgia and Jasper and Beaufort counties, South Carolina. The workshop will be held May 31-June 3, 2016, with the final presentation and luncheon day on Friday, July 29, 2016. Participants will earn 4 PLUs and receive a $400 stipend. Except for the field trip, the workshop will be held at Georgia Tech Savannah, 210 Technology Circle, Savannah, Georgia 31407. The workshop is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District as part of the public outreach for its CSS Georgia recovery related to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The workshop is hosted by Georgia Tech, Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) in partnership with the USACE. Space is limited. To register please go to: pe.gatech.edu/teacher-institute. For questions contact: Rita Elliott at email@example.com
Pardon my potty mouth but…
March 13, 2016
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The long-buried life of the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia is being resurrected and will be discussed in a free lecture given by two of the lead archaeologists preserving the ship’s artifacts. Speakers will bring recently recovered artifacts to the free event June 2 at 7 p.m., at the auditorium of the Savannah History Museum, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Savannah, Georgia.
Underwater archaeologist Stephen James, M.A., with Panamerican Consultants is a principal investigator on the project. He and underwater archaeologist Gordon Watts, Ph.D., of Tidewater Atlantic Research, co-principal investigator, will share the discoveries about the CSS Georgia in a free public presentation. Topics will include the unique ship’s construction, its funding, and life aboard the civil war gunboat. Attendees will also learn how divers are documenting and recovering the vessel, the laboratory work involved, and what happens next in this complex project.
The Savannah History Museum will be open at no charge from 6-7 p.m. and light refreshments will be served in the auditorium lobby before the lecture. The lecture is sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District and is free of charge and open to the public. The lecture and museum entry is hosted by Coastal Heritage Society.
This lecture was previously announced for an earlier date. The date of the lecture has changed.
• Deepening the Savannah River channel for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project would damage the vessel; therefore, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing archaeological excavation of the CSS Georgia to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.
• Divers have been excavating the 150-year-old wreck since January and are preparing in June to recover cannons and large portions of casemates.
• This lecture marks the first of eight public outreach efforts focused on the CSS Georgia.
Follow the project and discover additional outreach opportunities at http://1.usa.gov/1G6S2Hn
Dynamic Duo? Smash! Bang! Pow! %#&@!
November 11, 2014
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!]
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:
Abercorn Archaeology Site 9CH1205 -click below for flyer
March 9, 2013
Rita Elliott is giving free tours at this interesting archaeological site near Savannah, Georgia.
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
The History Underneath
May 8, 2012
The LAMAR Institute is proud to sponsor the May 12th event in Savannah!
May 08, 2012
The History Underneath
City explores need for an archaeological ordinance
By Jessica Leigh Lebos
If you own a building downtown and you want to paint it fuschia, there’s an app for that.
Same if you want to demolish it, add a sign to the front or attach a flagpole: You’d have to file an application for approval through the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
It’s because of the city’s rigorous rules concerning the renovation of its old architecture that Savannah remains one of the largest and most glorious landmark historic districts in the country. But you may be surprised that there are no such stipulations for the archaeological sites buried beneath those historic homes and offices.
There was no obligation to examine the old shipyards layered in the banks of the Savannah River as Hutchinson Island was developed, nor was there any archaeological methodology applied to the massive dugout of the underground parking garage near Ellis Square. Those are only two recent examples—there’s no telling how many other sites have been lost throughout the decades.
Fragile remains of Colonial–era homesteads, indigenous campgrounds, slave housing and other historic sites have “literally been bulldozed over” as Savannah has been developed, but the good news is that there is plenty left to explore.
Ellen Harris, the MPC’s cultural resource and planning manager, wants to investigate the possibility of incorporating archaeology into its own zoning ordinance, if not into the complex Unified Zoning Ordinance the commission has been drafting for years.
“The historic preservation of buildings tells only one part of the story,” explained Harris. “The under–represented people, Native Americans, slaves, soldiers—their stories are buried underneath those buildings.”
Digging in old records, Harris found that the MPC had received unilateral support for a code written in the late 1980s that would have required government projects to perform archaeological research before breaking ground, but the initiative fizzled with personnel changes. She hopes to revive the mandate for city and county projects and provide significant tax incentives for private entities.
Acknowledging that an ordinance applied citywide needs current community input before it can be written, Harris has organized a free introductory educational session open to the public. “Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth, A Panel Discussion,” will be held at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square this Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.
While research shows that archaeological preservation has economic benefits for cities such as boosted tourism and reduced blight, it can be a scary topic for developers, for whom the discovery of a historic homestead or cemetery can mean the shutdown of a worksite. Harris encourages them to join the conversation.
“This is about dispelling myths and educating the community,” she said. “We’re just beginning to look at what it would take to include archaeology in the code and find out what other cities have done it.”
The nearby city of Beaufort, S.C. has laws mandating archaeological study before any development, and Florida has a statewide network of local archaeology ordinances. But Harris counts Alexandria, VA as the model for archaeological preservation. The city adopted an ordinance in 1989 that protects sites within the city’s center while acknowledging the needs of developers.
Dr. Pamela Cressey, the archaeology guru who helped author the Alexandria ordinance and continues to head the city’s museum devoted to locally–excavated artifacts, will visit Savannah to sit on the upcoming panel.
While Dr. Cressey promises to provide insight into the process that resulted in Alexandria’s ordinance, she counsels that Savannah must develop its own model.
“Every community has its unique characteristics and individual perspectives that will inform what comes out of it,” mused Dr. Cressey over the phone last week. “My goal is to talk about what’s possible.”
It can be challenging to convince people of the value of archaeology, she admits, “because it’s hidden. But down in the ground can be a wealth of materials that can tell us a lot about who lived there.”
Dr. Cressey will be joined on the panel by local architect Neil Dawson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife archaeologist Richard Kanaski and Georgia Southern anthropology professor Dr. Sue Moore. Local historian and filmmaker Michael Jordan will moderate.
Jordan calls the panel “more than just an opportunity for scholars to lecture about what they do. It’s a chance for Savannahians who care about history to start a conversation about what’s worked in other places and what could work here.”
Jordan was present when Lamar Institute archaeologist Rita Elliot excavated the Spring Hill Redoubt, the site of the bloody 1779 Revolutionary War battle now commemorated as Coastal Heritage Society’s Battlefield Park. There Elliot found gun parts and markings for the original fortification wall—factors that add layers to the history of the soldiers who died there. She has also found ditches, flints and other Revolutionary War debris in Madison Square, “steps away from where hundreds of people walk every day.”
Elliot, who will be in attendance at Saturday’s panel, looks forward to a time when Savannah’s buried sites will be as valued as its buildings.
“Archaeology goes in tandem with the preservation of standing structures,” she posits. “That’s how we find the whole story. There is tremendous potential here to expand the horizons of what we know about Savannah’s history.”
Adds Jordan, “Obviously, it will never be feasible to leave every archaeological discovery in Savannah completely undisturbed. That’s not realistic.”
However, even minor construction projects and home renovations “could peel back priceless pages of Savannah’s historic fabric” if policies are in place to preserve archaeological finds.
“That’s why it’s so important for us, as a community, to address the issues of how we preserve the past that’s buried just beneath the surface.”
Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth
When: Saturday, May 12, 2 p.m.
Where: Trinity Methodist Church, 127 Barnard St.
Cost: Free and open to the public
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:
Historical and Natural Resources in Georgia—NOT!
January 18, 2012
CLICK HERE TO READ GOVERNOR DEAL’s DEAL
Write, Call, Email, Telegraph, or Otherwise Contact Your Guy on This Vital Topic
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has introduced a proposed budget that will slash Historic Preservation in Georgia to mortally wounded levels. Here is my email: “I am emailing you to renew your awareness of my interest in historic preservation in Georgia and to urge your support to maintain funding levels for the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) in the upcoming budget. I have 35 years experience in historic preservation in Georgia and I have witnessed operations at the state government at greatly reduced funding levels compared to that currently enjoyed. It was not a pretty sight! The current staff at HPD has done a commendable job in advancing historic preservation issues in Georgia over the past decade, in spite of the drastic budget cuts of the past couple of years. To even further cut their budget, as Governor Deal recommends, would be a death sentence for this important part of our state government. The guidance from the HPD office is the catalyst that keeps many construction projects flowing. If their funding levels are reduced, then the permitting process for upcoming development projects will be slowed considerably. Or, projects will proceed on their own terms and face the potential violation of state and federal permitting regulations. Historic Preservation need not be a negative force in Georgia government but this is the potential if historic preservationists are shut out of the discussion. Many organizations, such as the LAMAR Institute, the Coosawattee Foundation and the Archaeological Conservancy, operate in Georgia outsite of direct government funding, but these organizations are too meager to handle the needs of the entire state. A modest budget for HPD will go a long way in maintaining responsible stewardship of our past. I hope we can count on you to be a voice in favor of recognizing and honoring Georgia’s architectual, archaeological and historical past.”
AND below is a repost from Tom Crawford’s blog that displays the sad state of affairs in Georgia:
The makeover of the DNR board is completed
By Tom Crawford | Published: January 27, 2012
The state Board of Natural Resources completed a historic changeover this week as it said goodbye to an environmental advocate and installed in one of its top positions a lobbyist whose firm’s clients include a utility that is one of Georgia’s largest sources of air pollution.
Board members voted formally on Tuesday to elect Philip Watt, a non-practicing physician from Thomasville, as their new chairman. They also elected Rob Leebern, a lobbyist with Troutman Sanders Strategies, as the new vice chairman.
Watt replaces Earl Barrs, the board chairman in 2011 who was removed from the panel when Gov. Nathan Deal decided not to reappoint him. Warren Budd, last year’s vice chairman who normally would have rotated to the chairmanship, was also ousted from the panel when Deal refused to reappoint him to another term as well.
Budd was booted from the board after he spoke out against two initiatives that are important to Deal.
Budd expressed skepticism about Deal’s proposals to build more reservoirs in North Georgia and he also criticized the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for imposing a miniscule fine of only $1 million on a textile company that discharged chemicals into the Ogeechee River, causing the largest fish kill in Georgia’s history (the company could have been subject to fines of more than $90 million).
“I was told to hush up on both of them,” Budd said. “I was warned and I didn’t do it, and that is why I’m off.”
When reporters contacted the governor’s office about Budd’s removal from the board, Deal’s spokesman issued this reply: “If anyone on any board considers himself indispensable, this is what educators call a ‘teachable moment.’ It takes an eyebrow-raising amount of self-regard for someone to suggest publicly that, out of 10 million Georgians, only he or she brings a diverse viewpoint to a board.”
He added that the governor wanted to appoint board members “who are excited team players ready to carry out his agenda for our state.”
The removal of Budd from the Board of Natural Resources is a watershed moment, if you’ll pardon the expression, for the board that oversees and sets policy for both the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division.
Budd was one of the few remaining board members who could realistically be considered a conservationist dedicated to protecting the state’s environment and natural resources.
Deal has made it clear that environmental protection is not the primary mission of either DNR or EPD anymore. Both agencies are now expected to advance the cause of economic development and job creation, even though state government already has a Department of Economic Development headed by Commissioner Chris Cummiskey.
The change in mission is vividly illustrated by the installation of Rob Leebern as the new vice chairman in place of Budd.
Budd is considered to be an environmentally sensitive conservationist. Ogeechee Riverkeeper Diana Wedincamp described him as a “friend of the rivers.”
Leebern is a skilled political operative who’s been working inside the Washington beltway for years, first as chief of staff for Sen. Saxby Chambliss and a top fundraiser for George W. Bush, and more recently with the Washington office of Troutman Sanders.
One of Troutman Sanders’ biggest clients over the years has been Georgia Power, which operates two coal-fired power generation facilities in Georgia, Plant Scherer and Plant Bowen, that are ranked by the EPA as America’s largest sources of greenhouse gases.
Whenever Georgia Power goes to the Public Service Commission to secure a rate increase or fight off demands for a risk-sharing mechanism to minimize cost overruns on their nuclear plants, Troutman Sanders partner Kevin Greene is the man who argues their case.
“It is outrageous to make a lobbyist for the biggest polluter in Georgia and the biggest user of water an officer of the DNR board,” said Mark Woodall of the Sierra Club of Georgia. “I’ve been going to these meetings for 25 years and this is by far the worst board, in terms of balancing the public and private interests of the state of Georgia, that I’ve ever seen.”
The changeover on the DNR board has been happening gradually since Sonny Perdue took office as governor in 2003.
When Perdue was first sworn in as the state’s chief executive, there were three prominent environmental advocates on the DNR board: former lieutenant governor Pierre Howard, Columbus attorney Jim Butler and Sally Bethea, director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. All three of those people were removed from the board during the course of Perdue’s administration.
Howard was the first to go. In 2003, the Republicans who assumed control of the Georgia Senate refused to confirm nearly 180 people who had been appointed to state boards and commissions by former governor Roy Barnes, a Democrat, during his last year in office (2002). Howard was among that mass of people removed from state boards.
Perdue tried to replace Butler on the DNR board in 2003 before Butler’s term had expired. Butler promptly sued the governor in Fulton County Superior Court, where a judge ordered Butler’s reinstatement to the board. When Butler’s term expired two years later, Perdue then was legally allowed to appoint a replacement.
Perdue did reappoint Bethea to the DNR board, but she was removed from the panel in the same manner as Howard when the Republican majority in the Georgia Senate declined to confirm her reappointment.
Perdue also appointed Budd, a Newnan insurance agent, to the DNR board in 2005.
“He knew where I stood,” Budd said of Perdue. “He allowed a diversity of people on there. He appointed people that were pro-conservation. Gov. Barnes did that, too.”
Budd is a lifelong Republican who invokes Teddy Roosevelt as the kind of Republican who believed in conservation. He says his interest in environmental issues was sparked as a young man when his father, Methodist minister Candler Budd, gave him copies of the Rachel Carson books Silent Spring and The Sea Around Us.
“That’s true conservatism,” Budd said. “Conservatism is conserving what’s good.”
There was another indication this week of just how deeply involved lobbyists are going to be in setting environmental policy for the state over the next few years.
One of the most talked-about social events of the week among capitol observers was a dinner sponsored by several lobbyists Wednesday night for members of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.
The dinner took place at the Parish restaurant in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood and the event was staked out by several environmental activists, as well as by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter and a photographer. At one point, we’re told, an environmentalist attempted to give Rep. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan), the committee chair, a list of Georgia’s “Dirty Dozen” polluted waterways.
According to an email invitation sent to committee members, the event’s sponsors included Georgia Power, the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Joe Tanner and Associates, the Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Chemistry Council, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Georgia Forestry Association, the Georgia Poultry Federation, AGL Resources, the Georgia Mining Association, and the Georgia Paper and Forest Producers Association.
On the same day that the elegant dinner was held for the legislators, the new vice chairman of the DNR board, Leebern, proposed that Georgia’s top environmental regulator be given a $20,000 bump in his annual salary.
Leebern made a motion for the DNR board to increase the salary of EPD Director Jud Turner — a former lobbyist — to $175,000 a year. His motion passed by a unanimous vote of the board.
© 2012 by The Georgia Report
Short History of Brass Knuckles in America
April 1, 2011
This post contains the results of my quick internet research on the early history of brass knuckles in America. My curiosity was aroused after watching a television documentary made in 1999 about the Irish in New Orleans. In that documentary, the writer attributed the first use of brass knuckles in America to the Irish (not a direct quote). This evening I did a brief search of several internet sources to determine if this was a valid statement. Also, as an archaeologist I sought to determine if brass knuckles can be accurately dated, since they are occasionally found in archaeological contexts and archaeologists are always eager to identify artifacts that serve as time markers.
As expected, searching with Google.com, I met with several websites that tracked brass knuckles back to the Romans, and even the Greeks. The intermediate era, like the past 1500 years or so, were glossed over in these “histories’. The terms “brass knuckle” and “knuckle duster” (and various variants of these two concepts) were cited as early names for these items, along with some vague etymological link to the German language.
The earliest use of the term that I was able to locate using Google Books in Europe was in 1862, when The Archaeological Journal, an archaeological publication in the British Isles, published an article about a personal collection of armour that noted, “A pair of gauntlets is described in the next item, of ancient fashion, and with brass knuckles (condolis de latone). Examples are not wanting of representations of gauntlets thus ornamented in monumental portraitures, such as the effigy of John de Montacute in Salisbury Cathedral; he died in 1388.’ In a Computus of the Treasurer of the Dauphin, in 1333, a payment occurs for ‘guantis lattunatis;’—for a pair ‘de caligis de latono,”‘<fcc. These may, however, have been gauntlets wholly of brass, such as those still suspended over the tomb of the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral.” (The Archaeological Journal 1862: 163).
I then searched Google Books for earlier references in America and restricted my search to the 18th and 19th century. I was surprised to find that the term “brass knuckles” did not appear in a printed book until 1855. A similar search of 18th and 19th century newspapers contained in the archives at Genealogybank.com pushed the earliest reference to “brass knuckles” back to February, 1855.
The City Council of New Albany, Indiana noted in their proceedings:
“Mr. Weir offered the following.
Resolved, That the Committee on Ordinances beinstructed to report an ordinance prohibiting the carrying or using of instruments called brass knuckles.
Mr. Stoy moved to amend by striking out brass knuckles and inserting ‘any kind of concealed weapons,’ which amendment was lost.
Mr. Kent moved to amend by making the resolution read, ‘Brass Knuckles, Slung Shot, or other dangerous weapons;’ which amendment was accepted, and the resolution as amended adopted by the following vote…” (New Albany Daily Ledger 1855:2).
Then I discovered an antique brass knuckle collector’s group on Yahoo.com and I emailed one of their members, Daniel White, with an question about the origins of brass knuckles in America. He graciously provided a quick reply, in which he stated, “Some of the earliest ones I know of are the Sam Houston lead knuckles which are on display at the Sam Houston Schoolhouse Museum in Maryville, Tennessee. Apparently he was only at the school in 1812 and the knuckles(which have his name carved into them and appear to be handmade) were supposedly found hidden above the door frame during a renovation in the 1950’s. I also believe brass knuckles were brought over by Chinese immigrants during the early to mid 1800’s and I think these strongly influenced the style of the most common cast iron knuckles made during and after the Civil War.”
I signed up to join the Yahoo.com group and examined a series of uploaded photographs of brass, lead and cast iron knuckles dating to the Civil War era. Most of these were posted by Mr. White. They reflect a variety of styles. Thanks to Mr. White and his colleagues for furthering the history of this intriguing weapon type.
If White is correct, this would push the begin date for brass knuckles in America back to 1812. If this is so, then why did it take the popular press in America four decades to final document these useful weapons of personal protection? Cleary, the 1855 city ordinance shows that public officials in this wild and wooly Ohio River town saw the need to regulate brass knuckles by 1855, which implies their presence for several years prior. The wording in their ordinance, however, infers a “newness” and relatively unfamiliarity with the term brass knuckles. Perhaps brass knuckles had been around for many decades but were considered vulgar items and not suitable for “polite society”, or the printed word. Perhaps they were hovering below the public radar, tucked inside the pockets of the men (and maybe even the women) who were busy populating the American heartland. Can these weapons be traced to the Asians, many of whom were being imported to America to perform manual labor? Or were they brought by Irish laborers from Great Britain? Or possibly both? Was the manufacture of cast iron knuckles an American innovation? And were lead knuckles the first type used in America? Were any used in the War of 1812, or in the American Revolution? Thus far, I have found no references to their use in those earlier wars.
Composite weapons that included Brass knuckles, knives, and/or handguns existed in America by the 1860s. Common phrases, such as “knuckle sandwich” “bare knuckles”, and “knucklehead”, may hide clues to this puzzle. By World War I, brass knuckles were a common weapon and effective in the trench warfare that characterized that war. Similarly, brass knuckles continued to be used as weapons in World War II. If these weapons were official weapons in the American Civil War, documentary evidence for it is elusive. Collector reports demonstrate that brass, lead or cast iron knuckles are widespread (albeit relatively rare) on battlegrounds in the South. Were these personal weapons sold by sutlers in the Army camps? Which examples were sand cast, possibly by the soldiers themselves, and which were cast at furnaces or forges? Were the lead examples made from melted bullets? Were they used by both Union and Confederate soldiers? The present contextual information for these battlefield relics do not adequately answer these questions.
My own archaeological research over the past 35 years has yielded only one pair of knuckles. This was a broken example made from cast iron that I recovered from a 19th-20th century house (Alma Boyd House) on the Sumter National Forest in Abbeville County, South Carolina. It came from surface context, so its age was unknown. Any other archaeologists who have encountered this tool type, please let me know. Clearly, more research is needed, and I hope to report back.
New Albany Daily Ledger
1855 Proceedings of the Council. New Albany Daily Ledger, February 7, 1855:2.
The Archaeological Journal
Original Documents. The Armour and Arms Belonging to Henry Bowet, Archbishop of York, Deceased in 1423, from the Roll of his Executors’ Accounts. The Archaeological Journal 19:159-163.
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:
New Old Fort Jackson Artifacts Discovered | WSAV TV
November 12, 2010
Click link above for TV news story on Rita Elliott’s excavations at Fort Jackson, Savannah, Georgia. She found some cool stuff, artillery related, not shown in the news story.
New Archaeology Reports Available
October 13, 2010
Several recent archaeological reports have been uploaded for free public distribution on the LAMAR Institute’s website. These include:
The Search for Redoubt Number 6 at New Ebenezer
Smith House Site, Valdosta, Georgia, GPR Survey
Archaeological Reconnaissance of Civil War Resources on Rose Dhu Island, Chatham County, Georgia
GPR Survey at Behavior Cemetery, Sapelo Island, Georgia
Archaeological Reconnaissance of Pennyworth Island, Chatham County, Georgia
Fort Perry Reconniassance, Marion County, Georgia.
GPR Survey at Gascoigne Bluff, St. Simons Island, Georgia.
GPR Mapping fo the Adler Plot, Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia.
GPR Mapping of Lot K-207, Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia.
GPR Survey at the Copeland Site (9GE18).
TO NAME A FEW, FOR MORE VISIT:
The LAMAR Institute
Click on REPORTS.
We welcome your comments!
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!
Historian Works to Save Savannah Area Battlefield | WSAV TV
September 28, 2010
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!”
LIDAR for Archaeology Workshop
September 13, 2010
The LAMAR Institute announces a 3-day Remote Sensing Workshop for
archaeologists and historic preservationists on the applications of LIDAR for
archaeology. The workshop will include classroom instruction and a demonstration
and test implementation of LIDAR mapping on a portion of the North End
Plantation on the north end of Ossabaw Island.
DATE: February 25-27, 2011
COST: $250 per person (includes boat transportation, 2 night’s lodging, meals,
and educational materials). A non-refundable deposit of $50 per person is required
by December 31, 2010. The balance due will be collected at the workshop.
LOCATION: North End Plantation, Ossabaw Island, Georgia
Registration for the workshop is limited to 20 participants. Invited participants
have been targeted, although this workshop opportunity is open to interested
scholars on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For More Information Contact: dantelliott at gmail.com.
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.
Battles of Lovejoy Revisited
November 14, 2009
Archaeological field research documenting the various Civil War engagements near Lovejoy, Georgia will resume in December, 2009. The research is spearheaded by the Georgia Department of Transportation and Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc., Athens, Georgia. This effort will focus on a proposed highway corridor for improving traffic on Jonesboro Road. Preliminary survey work revealed that this path crosses many Civil War battlefield resources.Battles took place along this strip of land in August, September and November, 1864. The upcoming research will serve to better document these resources and to recover data from the highway corridor. This should prove to be an enlightening retelling of the final days in the struggle for control of Atlanta, and the very beginnings of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea campaign.