Visiting St. Catherines’ Island

Armstrong Archaeology students, Anthropology Club members, and Digging Savannah professors had the great privilege of touring St. Catherines’ Island yesterday with archaeologist David Hurst Thomas. Dr. Thomas has been working on St. Catherines’ for nearly 40 years investigating Native American prehistory and the Spanish Colonial mission founded in the late 1500s.

A huge thanks goes to Dr. Thomas and the rest of the archaeologists (and ornithologists) for their hospitality!

Dr. Thomas (red shirt) talks to students about a 3,000 year old burial mound. The archaeologists call this vehicle the "pope mobile".

Dr. Thomas (red shirt) talks to students about a 3,000 year old burial mound. The archaeologists call this vehicle the “pope mobile”.

Palms mark the location of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale chapel's structural beams. Dr. Thomas is explaining the mission's history and its archaeological discovery to our students and a group of birders seated on benches in the church.

Palms mark the location of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale chapel’s structural beams. Dr. Thomas is explaining the mission’s history and its archaeological discovery to our students and a group of birders seated on benches in the church.

Armstrong students observing the current dig at the mission site.

Armstrong students observing the current dig at the mission site.

Current excavation locations are dictated by site erosion caused by climate change.

Current excavation locations are dictated by site erosion caused by climate change.

Students learned about the natural geology of the island and how geology affects what types of archaeology sites we find.

Students learned about the natural geology of the island and how geology affects what types of archaeology sites we find.

Tabby buildings from plantations on the island after the mission period. Tabby is a building material similar to concrete. The roof structure is a modern addition to preserve the tabby ruins.

Tabby buildings from plantations on the island after the mission period. Tabby is a building material similar to concrete. The roof structure is a modern addition to preserve the tabby ruins.

St. Catherines' Island view as we ride between sites on the pope mobile.

St. Catherines’ Island view as we ride between sites on the pope mobile.

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