Posts Tagged With: public outreach

Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe

Next in our student series is Kirstyn Cardwell who attended Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe Historic Site this past weekend.

Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe Historic Site

Wormsloe State Historic Site hosted a Public Archaeology Day on April 14, 2018. The site was originally owned by Noble Jones who came to America as a colonist with James Oglethorpe. He leased about 500 acres of land on Isle of Hope where he built a house he named Wormslow, later renamed Wormsloe. What is left of the structure is now considered the Tabby Ruins. His family passed the property down through the years and still own a large amount of the area today. (Wormsloe Pamphlet)


Wormsloe’s tabby ruins

Archaeology Day is a public outreach program to get the community interested in the history of Wormsloe. They set up a small excavation site for the guest to take part in. The site has not been excavated since 1969, so in 2017 they set up a small dig next to the tabby ruins. The archaeologist found arrow heads, pottery, a glass bottle, tools, pipes and buttons.

2017 artifacts

Artifacts from the 2017 dig

For Archaeology Day this year, they wanted to excavate another small section with the community to see what else can be found near the tabby ruins. Three archaeologists from Atlanta were brought in to help with the dig. They dug a small shovel test pit and were allowing guests to help dry screen the dirt that was dug out.


Test unit excavation at Wormsloe’s Public Archaeology Day


Screening soil from the test unit

They found small chunks of brick and other building materials that they think indicates a structure. Because of the type of building materials found, they think it could have been a blacksmith shop or somewhere they were doing metal working. The other idea is that these pieces could have been tossed from the main building that still partially stands.

2018 artifacts

Artifacts found during the 2018 Public Archaeology day

They had two booths set up in the area. At one booth was Sarah Love, the archaeology outreach coordinator for the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, explaining what archaeology is and what kind of items are found in Georgia. She explained to guests that archaeology is not always ancient ruins from Rome. Artifacts can be found all over Georgia ranging from Native American times to about 50 years ago. She had a table of findings from around Georgia.

The other booth was set up to let people know that they can volunteer at Wormsloe. If you would like to just go out and visit, they are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. The site has hiking trials, a museum, a gift shop and ruins for you to explore. Animals are allowed on the site as long as they are on a leash.


Georgia Department of Natural Resources Brochure. Wormsloe State Historic Site.

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Magic School Bus? Please, We Have An ArchaeoBus

Kelly Vislocky is next in our student series. She shares the ArchaeoBus’ most recent visit to our fair city.

Magic School Bus? Please, We Have An ArchaeoBus

After coming to school in a historic city like Savannah and walking around downtown Savannah, the feel of the city is amazing. The historical layout and city buildings are breathtaking. You can tell that history is important to the community, which is why archaeology is important as well. Reaching out to that community is important as well, and the Society for Georgia Archaeology’s philosophy is to start them young with the ArchaeoBus.

The Society for Georgia Archaeology is a non-profit organization that “promotes the identification, investigation, preservation and protection of archaeological sites and resources throughout the state of Georgia.” One of the ways they do this is through the ArchaeoBus. The ArchaeoBus is a mobile classroom that teaches kids all about archeology. The ArchaeoBus travels around Georgia and on occasion to other states in the Southeast bringing interactive enrichment programs to different schools and communities. The ArchaeoBus offers a variety of programs from school presentations, scout programs, teacher workshops, and library programs. The ArchaeoBus also offers informal programs without presentations where people can come and experience at their own pace. One example of this is the March 24 Forsyth Farmer’s Market in downtown Savannah, where the ArchaeoBus made a stop to bring archaeology to the Savannah community.


The ArchaeoBus was featured as the Forsyth Farmer’s Market Community Spotlight on March 24, 2018. (Photo credit: Dr. Virginia Estabrook)

Another feature of the ArchaeoBus, which I found incredible clever and adorable, is Abby’s Diary. The ArchaeoBus has a persona named Abby. On the Society for Georgia Archeology website Abby (the ArchaeoBus) keeps a diary of all her adventures. It is filled with pictures and updates on where Abby (the ArchaeoBus) has been and what she’s been up to. The diary is in a simple, narrative format that is easy to read and engaging for people and archeologist of all ages. The ArchaeoBus is an awesome form of public outreach to help educate and engage people, especially kids, about archeology and the rich history of Georgia.

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Georgia Public Archaeology Network?

Kris Rice, student blogger, makes the argument for a Georgia Public Archaeology Network, comparable to Florida’s excellent program.

Georgia Public Archaeology Network?

For nearly 14 years, Georgia’s neighbor to the south has maintained an active public archaeology network that our state would do well to emulate.  Its use of volunteers in the protection of historic resources is particularly innovative.


Crystal River, FL, Archaeological State Park: A stele at one of the many historic and cultural sites around Florida where volunteers actively participate in archaeological monitoring, preservation and public outreach. A stele is a stone or wooden monument, typically used for burial or boundary marking.

In 2004, under Republican Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida legislature approved legislation enabling the creation of the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN).  The following year, the legislature granted funding for ongoing operations of the network, which continue as a University of West Florida program based in Pensacola.  Eight regional centers operate out of four universities around the state.  FPAN is careful to avoid duplicating existing programs, does not conduct archaeological research or manage heritage sites, and works closely with community partners throughout the state.

The network’s goals are to educate and engage the public in archaeology, to serve as a professional resource for local governments, and to assist the Florida Division of Historical Resources.  It is the first goal that may be of particular interest to archaeology buffs in Georgia, who should encourage our legislature to institute a similar program.

temple mnd

View of Crystal River from the observation deck of the 30’ tall Temple Mound, the largest in the park.

Although each of the regional centers offers a wide variety of local volunteer opportunities and trainings, the state network also sponsors the popular statewide Heritage Monitoring Scouts program.  Interested volunteers assist in monitoring and documenting the effects of climate change and sea level rise on archaeological, historical, and cultural sites and help to provide public education and outreach.

FPAN also offers Cemetery Resource Protection Training, to teach volunteers how to preserve and protect historic grave markers, and conducts in-service education for public and private school teachers around the state.  In addition, the network offers training for recreational divers and dive instructors on identifying, monitoring, and protecting shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources.

burial mound

One of two platform mounds at Crystal River, believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes. The site of the park was among the longest continuously inhabited in the state; human occupation dates back more than two millennia.

If you agree that Georgia to involve volunteers in the protection of our fragile and endangered cultural past, please contact your state legislators to ask for their support of a statewide archaeological network here.

Following is contact information for the Chatham County delegation; for other counties, consult

For more information on FPAN, visit the network’s website at:

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“Dave the Potter” documentary this Thursday

Read more about the documentary, including an interview with Archaeologist George Wingard, in Jessica Leigh Lebos’ article in the Connect Savannah.

WHAT: Digging Savannah is hosting a screening of the documentary “Discovering Dave– Spirit Captured in Clay” about the literate slave potter Dave who worked in South Carolina’s Edgefield District. A Q&A with the filmmaker and archaeologist George Wingard will follow the film.

WHERE: Armstrong State University, Student Union Ballrooms

WHEN: January 22, 2015 at 6pm (this Thursday)

Parking on the Armstrong campus

Parking on the Armstrong campus

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Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay

We are excited to announce the documentary, Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay, is coming to Armstrong on January 22 at 6pm. Scrapbook Video Productions and the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program produced this historical documentary film about Dave, a literate slave potter from the Edgefield District of South Carolina. Dave’s pots and jars give us a unique and rare opportunity to learn more about Dave as an individual as well as South Carolina’s Edgefield District potteries. The film has been snapping up awards left and right. Don’t miss it! Our screening will be January 22 at 6pm on the second floor of Armstrong’s Student Union Center. Click here for more detailed information in our press release.

San Diego Film Festival 3

Parking on the Armstrong campus

Parking on the Armstrong campus

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Dr. David Hurst Thomas Archaeology Lecture this Thursday!

November 6
Distinguished archaeologist Dr. David Hurst Thomas will be speaking about his work on St. Catherines Island. Encompassing nearly 40 years of work, Dr. Thomas has excavated Native American sites 5,000 years old through to the 16th century Spanish mission, Santa Catalina de Guale. Bishop Hartmayer will introduce Dr. Thomas and speak about the importance of archaeology and the Spanish mission site. The lecture will take place at Benedictine Military School at 6pm. Many thanks to our co-sponsor, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah.

Dig Sav poster Fall2014_DHT_ad-page001

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Spring 2014 public programs

Digging Savannah will be offering three public walking tours, and the ArchaeoBus will be returning for two days.  More detailed information is available in Upcoming Programs.

February 22 and April  5- Skidaway Island Guided Hike

Spanning more than 5,000 years of history and prehistory, the park’s archaeology sites give us the opportunity to trace Skidaway Island’s past from Native Americans to moonshiners. AASU archaeologist Laura Seifert will lead the hike, which starts at the Big Ferry Trail head. The hike is $10 per person (this includes your park pass) or free for Friends of Georgia State Parks members. Buy tickets here.

March 15- Walking Tour of Downtown Savannah

Savannah is famous for its beautiful historic downtown, but the ground beneath your feet is just as historic. Learn about the unseen and forgotten archaeology sites. AASU archaeologist Laura Seifert will lead the tour, which starts at the flagpole at Battlefield Park (next the railroad museum) at 2pm. The tour is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to or via the Facebook event site.

The ArchaeoBus

The ArchaeoBus will be returning to Savannah! On February 28, Abby the ArchaeoBus will be on  the Armstrong campus (10am-4pm). Armstrong students and home school students are particularly encouraged to attend. Then on March 1, the ArchaeoBus will be in the Savannah Mall, free and open to the public from 10am to 5pm.

Abby the Archaeobus, a creation of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, is a former bookmobile retrofitted with archaeology hands-on activities. Abby travels throughout the state, visiting school groups, giving presentations, and even touring the State Fair!


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