Dynamic Duo? Smash! Bang! Pow! %#&@!
November 11, 2014

Rita's Lifetime Achievement Award in Archaeo-Education

Rita’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Archaeo-Education

Dan's Lifetime Achievement Award in Archaeology

Dan’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Archaeology

Rita Folse Elliott and Daniel Elliott both were recognized by the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution at Its Revolutionary War Roundtable held in Washington, Georgia on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Rita was given an award for her lifetime of service as an Archaeo-Educator and Dan was given an award for a lifetime of service as an Archaeologist. Both were bestowed with this rank by the presentation of elegant golden gorgets with the appropriate engraving. Truly this is a great honor for two of The LAMAR Institute’s research team!

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Archaeologists Search for Carr’s Fort
January 7, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT: Daniel T. Elliott, The LAMAR Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 2992, Savannah, GA 31402

(706) 341-7796, dantelliott@gmail.com

Archaeologists Search for Carr’s Fort

(January 7, 2013, Savannah, Georgia)

A team of archaeologists and historians from the LAMAR Institute have launched a search for an elusive Revolutionary War battlefield site in the hills of northeastern Georgia. The battle took place on February 10, 1779, when Captain Robert Carr’s Fort was invaded by a group of about 70 loyalist recruits led by Colonel Jonathan Hamilton. Later that day, the fort was surrounded by Georgia and South Carolina militia, led by Colonel Andrew Pickens, who laid siege to the fortified loyalists. The siege of the fort lasted only a few hours before Pickens received word of a much larger party of Loyalist recruits who were advancing from South Carolina and he broke off the siege of Carr’s Fort to pursue a bigger target. Thus began a chain of military events that culminated in the decisive Patriot victory at Kettle Creek, only a few miles from Carr’s Fort. Several weeks later, Captain Carr was killed by a war party of loyalist Creek Indians, who burned down the fort.The institute received grant funds for the project from the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program and the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association. The goal is to locate Captain Carr’s Georgia militia fort and delineate the battle that surrounded it. Today the area is a serene mixture of woodlands, pasture and scattered farms. The battlefield search is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, as no contemporary maps showing its location, nor any detailed written descriptions of the location of Carr’s Fort are known to exist. It could be anywhere in the Beaverdam Creek watershed of Wilkes County, Georgia, although historian Robert Scott Davis, Jr. has narrowed the potential search area considerably. A team of six archaeologists from the institute will comb more than 5,000 acres in Wilkes County with metal detectors as part of the search. Once potential targets have been located, the team will use other methods, including ground penetrating radar (GPR), traditional excavations and mapping to better define the battlefield site. Fieldwork begins in late January and last for about three weeks. Carr’s Fort was one of more than 30 similar militia forts that dotted the Wilkes County frontier during the American Revolution. The project’s leader, Daniel Elliott, notes that although the team may be unable to find its intended target, they have “several chances to win”, as two other forts and numerous Revolutionary War-era farmsteads lie within the team’s search area. Locating Carr’s Fort will be a major find, as none of the 30 forts in Wilkes County have been discovered archaeologically. A full report on the undertaking will be available to the public in 2014.

–END–

Watch the Camp Lawton Prison Discovery on Time Team America Episode
October 5, 2012

UPDATE 8/6/2014

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
http://thelamarinstitute.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=58
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

2012 Post:

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

"Meg in the Car Park"

Searching for the Camp Lawton prison stockade wall.

http://thelamarinstitute.org/images/PDFs/publication_162.pdf

Raw video footage of the discovery  may be seen on Youtube.com (shown below):

 

UPDATE:

Stockade Wall Found at Camp Lawton
Article by Bryan Tucker, State Archaeologist

Preservation Posts, November 2012, Issue 42,

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e6c3a4351838f93c43cd740be&id=c5da2357fd&e=d6fa022296

 

Savannah Under Fire Stakeholders Presentation
February 3, 2011

This link is the Powerpoint Show and presentation text in PDF format.SavannahUnderFire_StakeholdersPresentation

Fort Hawkins Fourth of July Celebration
June 25, 2010

Fort Hawkins Fourth of July Celebration

Noon-5 p.m. July 4, 2010, Emery Highway, Macon, Georgia, USA. Benjamin Hawkins in his American Revolutionary uniform will present a patriotic program at 2 p.m. concluding with the original Star Spangled Banner poem. Benefit BBQ plates, featuring famous Fresh Air BBQ, are $12.50 each and will be served from 1-4 p.m. with tickets available from all Fort Hawkins Commission members, by calling 742-3003 or at http://www.forthawkins.com. Free admission.

Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/06/25/1173071/main-calendar.html#ixzz0rrtCNYJk

Sketch of Fort Hawkins, ca. 1863.

GPR Survey at Ebenezer 2010
June 25, 2010

Current GPR survey work at the colonial townsite of New Ebenezer has revealed the complete outline of an octagonal British fortification that guarded the entrance to town. The fort, known as Redoubt Number 3, was built under the direction of Colonel James Moncrief in early 1779 and was filled-in by Continental troops in June, 1782–thus its deposits contain a history of three years of the American Revolution in Georgia. No trace of this fort is visible on the surface but archaeological tests confirmed its existence. This image is a preliminary version and the final version will be published in a LAMAR Institute Research Publication. This project was funded by the Georgia Salzburger Society, Inc. The goal of that project was to defined the outer boundaries of the Jerusalem Cemetery, and that effort is ongoing.

GPR Overlay Map of British Redoubt 3, Ebenezer, Georgia

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.

RAMAC X3M monitor display

RAMAC X3M monitor display

The work was tedious but fruitful.

GPR Survey of Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia.

GPR Survey of Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia.

GPR Survey in Progress, Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah.
GPR Survey begins.

GPR Survey begins.

GPR Survey in Progress, Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah.

Stay tuned for the answer…

GPR at Theus Plantation–Yesterday’s News
April 8, 2008

Yesterday, I conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of a portion of the Theus plantation at Palmetto Bluff, Beaufort County, South Carolina. I was ably assisted by archaeologists Ellen Shlasko, Kris Lockyear, Katrina Epps, Heather Cline, Jessie Ann Larson, and others at Integrated Archaeological Services, Bluffton, SC. This study was also covered by the local news media (The Island Packet, see archives for 04/08/08 at islandpacket.com). The preliminary survey results look very intriguing. Stay tuned for more! Oh, and we had good press coverage, see photo below of Island Packet reporter Liz Mitchell and a typical GPRchaeologistTheus Plantation GPR Survey

Text of article from Savannah Morning News, May 30, 2008, by Doug Wyatt:

Archaeologists dig into Palmetto Bluff’s rich history
By Doug Wyatt
Created 2008-05-29 23:30

Palmetto Bluff, near Bluffton, is a swanky place. On the community’s 20,000 acres, you’ll find plenty of stunning scenery, not to mention elegant homes, a spa, tennis courts and other trappings of modern affluent living.

It’s been highly-prized land for a long time, Mary Socci reminds us.

“What’s prime real estate now was prime real estate during the Civil War,” she says. “Not to mention 4,000 years ago.”

Socci is Palmetto Bluff’s archaeologist. In 2004, Palmetto Bluff contracted with Integrated Archaeological Services to dig into the area’s rich history. The community is in its “second phase” of construction, with much of the area still undeveloped.

Working alongside a team from IAS headed by Ellen Shlasko, Socci and her staff have spent the past several years finding and recording the area’s historical and cultural sites. Federal and state laws require developers to document such sites before they build on the land.

Plantation left few clues

The search for the sites often isn’t easy. Theus Plantation, for example, was once a 1,000-acre working farm in the area. Early written records are vague, but a British sea captain owned the property in the 1730s. James T. Theus bought the property in 1830; he raised livestock and harvested corn, peas, beans and cotton on the land.

Obviously there were structures on the estate, but archaeologists haven’t been able to find them. Their only clue was a series of faint fence-post holes.

“We basically have a field that has been plowed for centuries,” Socci said. “There are all sorts of artifacts lying on top of the group, but they’re jumbled up. It’s been plowed so much we’ve lost all context for what we’re finding.”

Among the numerous artifacts that have been discovered are handmade nails, animal bones, pieces of ceramic, buttons made from bone and glass. The items were crafted over millennia; the area has been inhabited, Socci said, since at least around 2000 B.C.

Bringing in the radar

The real story of the Theus Plantation era is found a couple of feet below the field’s surface. What the archaeologists needed was a gizmo that could see through the soil and tell them what might lie underneath.

Dan Elliott, fortunately, has such a machine.

Elliott is a research archaeologist and president of the Savannah-based LAMAR institute. Since 1982, the nonprofit group has conducted archaeological research across the Southeast, embarking on such wide-ranging projects as a study of the Oconee River Valley’s aboriginal mound sites and a survey of previously unstudied colonial period settlements in Georgia and South Carolina.

Elliott owns ground-penetrating radar equipment that sends pulses underground and detects “bounce-back” signals. His GPR machine, resembling a lawnmower with a computer screen atop it, can show and record objects up to 6 feet below the surface. With the device, he can detect foundations, walls, wells and small artifacts without disturbing the soil.

One day in April, Elliott donated his time and his machine to Palmetto Bluff, helping Socci and Shlasko unearth Theus Plantation’s long-buried secrets. In a few short hours, he detected underground post holes and what might be a well. Both would indicate structures, possibly even a house, on the site.

The GPR, Elliott said, “saves a lot of time and manpower. This technology makes us smarter and more efficient, but it will never replace people digging in the dirt.”

A slow process

On a recent warm day, archaeologists JaColeman Hutto and Jessie Lerson carefully scraped away at the earth, exploring the spot where Elliott thinks he detected a well.

“It’s a slow, painstaking process,” Lerson said. “But it’s great being outside. Working inside somewhere filing and collating would be a lot worse.”

About 30 sites of possible historical and cultural importance have been found at Palmetto Bluff, Socci said. “About half of them are Native-American sites; the others are plantation sites.” Her archaeologists, she said, are “down to the last few sites” requiring excavation.

The thousands of artifacts gleaned from the sites are being stored for future study by researchers; some are already on display in the community’s museum.

Many of Palmetto Bluff’s residents, Socci said, have shown a strong interest in learning about the area’s long history.

“It’s a fascinating place,” she said.
For photographs that accompany the article visit: savannahnow.com

The Ground Truth!

The true test of GPR is excavation, and Ellen and her crew tested several GPR anomalies that I recommended for study. The results were very good, in that the GPR anomalies proved to locate cultural features. Some were a little boring maybe, but cultural features none the less.

GPR Plan map of Theus Plantation 2008

GPR Plan map of Theus Plantation 2008

Above is one of the GPR maps. Note the row of circular anomalies at about 20 m north. Below is what was located in the vicinity of one strong circular anomaly, which was located at about 20 m north and 23 m east of the 0 0 point.

A large feature located by the GPR survey and confirmed by excavation.

GPR Anomaly Verified!

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:

publication-123

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.

Metropolitan Atlanta Sprawl, 1973-1997 (Courtesy NASA)

Marty Willett–Man with a Plan (for Fort Hawkins)
March 31, 2008

 Fort Hawkins Master Plan Unveiled

March, 2008, Macon, Georgia

The Fort Hawkins Commission, led by Chairman Marty Willett, have published their Master Plan for the future of Fort Hawkins. Willett’s ambitious$3.5 million dollar stewardship plan addresses the needs for the fort and should result in a wonderful heritage tourist attraction for Macon and central Georgia. The LAMAR Institute is delighted to have been a part of this effort and we look forward to continued participation in bringing this strategically important United States Army post, circa 1806-1819, back to life through historical archaeology.

See also this recent newspaper article by Matt Barnwell in the March 28 edition of the Macon Telegraph, posted online at http://www.macon.com/149/story/307025.html

Kettle Creek Revolutionary War Battlefield Project
March 31, 2008

Virginia Gazette April 2, 1779

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: dantelliott@windstream.net

Kettle Creek Battlefield

Description
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.

Contact information

Daniel T. Elliott
P.O. Box 2992
Savannah, Georgia 31402
United States of America
7063417796
dantelliott@windstream.net

Bibliography
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.