Savannah Under Fire Stakeholders Presentation
February 3, 2011

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Volunteering in Archaeology in Savannah
April 1, 2008

The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) has been around for many decades and is a blend of professionals and amateurs. It has several regional chapters and in our area, this is the Coastal Georgia Archaeological Society (CGAS). There is also a chapter in Brunswick called the Golden Isles Archaeological Society. The next bi-annual meeting of the SGA is at Fernbank Museum in Atlanta on April 26, 2008. More information about the SGA and its programs can be found at their website: http://thesega.org/

On the opposite side of the river is the Archaeological Society of South Carolina (ASSC). It has annual meetings in the Columbia area. A very active chapter is located on Hilton Head Island. The ASSC has a very interesting meeting and low country boil date coming up on April 19. More information at their website: http://www.assc.net/

Some of these chapters get involved in excavations. most of the time they get monthly speakers on archaeology topics and have seasonal get-togethers. Some professionals involve these groups in their excavations, although increasingly liability issues and client requirements prohibit this. Our organization, The LAMAR Institute, Inc., will use volunteers on a selective basis. Other potential local opportunities to volunteer include the Coastal Heritage Society. The next event where a volunteer would be useful is their Archaeofest on May 31. It is geared mostly for kids. Their website is http://chsgeorgia.org/

The LAMAR Institute (http://lamarinstitute.org) is currently seeking volunteers for a project at the Kettle Creek Revolutionary War battlefield in Wilkes County, Georgia, June 12-17. More information on it is at the AIA Fieldwork Opportunities website: http://www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10036&search_region=1

There is also the Topper Site in Allendale County, which is a long-term excavation by my friend and colleague Dr. Al Goodyear. His website is: http://www.allendale-expedition.net/

As far as recording archaeological sites in the files, this is something that individuals can do, and are encouraged to do. The State of Georgia keeps its archaeological site inventory at the University of Georgia. More info on that is at: http://shapiro.anthro.uga.edu/GASF/

To learn about archaeology ethics, information can be found at the Register of Professional Archaeologists, http://rpanet.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=2

There is also information about Archaeology and Volunteers at the Society for Historical Archaeology at: http://sha.org/EHA/secondary/volunteer.cfm


Archaeofest 2008
March 31, 2008

ArchaeoFest 2008

May 31

SOLD OUT!

10AM-3PM
Phone: (912) 651-6850
Admission: Yes
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!

Archaeology of Savannah’s Revolutionary Past
March 30, 2008

PRESS RELEASE

COASTAL HERITAGE SOCIETY

For release Friday, March 21, 2008

Archaeologists Discover Artifacts from 1779 Battle of Savannah in Madison Square

Today Coastal Heritage Society archaeologists unearthed several artifacts from the October 1779 Battle of Savannah in Madison Square in downtown Savannah. Lead archaeologist Rita Elliott and her team discovered two musket balls—one French, the other British—as well as a shoe buckle, a brass ring, and lots of loose brick fragments, in the northeast corner of Madison Square (the corner sandwiched between the DeSoto Hilton Hotel and E. Shaver, Bookseller). The discoveries come on the fifth and final day of a series of digs that began in Emmett Park on East Bay Street.

Elliott believes the site occupies the location of a French and American false attack on British lines, designed to distract attention away from the main attack on the Spring Hill Redoubt—now the site of Battlefield Memorial Park on MLK and Louisville Road. The brick fragments may be remnants of a former military barracks which were torn down prior to the battle to provide cover for British troops defending the city. Ironically, today’s discoveries took place in the shadow of a monument to Sgt. William Jasper, who died in the 1779 battle.

Quick facts:

  • The work is funded by a $37,857 American Battlefield Protection Program grant from the National Park Service.
  • The team used computer software to match modern maps with more than a dozen historical maps, and pinpoint the most likely place to find artifacts.
  • The team is headed by CHS Archaeologist Rita Elliott, who also headed the CHS team that found artifacts and fortifications on Battlefield Memorial Park in 2005. archaeologists Dan Elliott and Laura Seifert round out the team, along with veteran volunteer archaeologist Carl Arndt.
  • This is a year-long project with multiple phases of research, field work, lab work, and report writing.
  • Between 8,000 and 12,000 troops took part in the October 1779 battle. The British forces defeated a combined French and American army, and roughly 800 soldiers were killed or wounded.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

UPDATE: 04/20/2008.

Since this past Monday our crew dug up six feet of Revolutionary 
War dirt, actually only 5 feet as the top 1 foot covered the period from 1783-
2008.  In the top 3 feet of it was the backfill dirt that was put there in late 
1782 by Major General Anthony Wayne (fellow PA guy) and his men. Beneath that 
is 2 more feet covering the period from September 1779-mid 1782. The very 
bottom 6 inches or so is the Siege of Savannah layer, September and October 
1779. It had small lead musket balls, possibly from Pulaski's Legion. We were 
in a British ditch outside of an earthen fort. We discovered it about a month 
ago and returned this week for a bigger sample. We found it through several 
means including historical map research, GPR survey, and dumb luck. Our 2 meter 
by 2 meter test unit came down on the edge of it perfectly so that we also have 
a good idea of its orientation. This part of the Savannah battlefield was lost 
since soon after General Wayne's men filled it in. Oh, and in the level just 
above the battle, which had lots of post-battle debris, we found a single lead 
musket ball that was made into a die. Lucky seven, lucky seven. 
It was in great condition. 
The British troops that garrisoned this part 
of the defenses were "Armed negroes and pickets", or the enslaved people 
belonging to Loyalist jerks and some watchful sharpshooters. The crack British 
troops were kept safe from harm, about a half mile to the northeast.