Spring 2013 Lecture Series
Our lecture series explored archaeology throughout Coastal Georgia and how we can better protect these important resources. All lectures were held at the Ogeechee Theater on the Armstrong campus.
January 24: Rita Elliott, “Savannah, What’s Under Your Feet?”
“Have you ever considered what you walk, run, drive, ride, or bike over every day? The soil beneath our feet in Savannah-Chatham County, Georgia, holds a wealth of intriguing secrets about our past. Discover how archaeology reveals these exciting stories, why they are important, and how we can keep these stories from being lost forever.”
February 12: David Hurst Thomas, “Romance and Reality in Georgia’s Mythical Mission Past:How We Found the Lost Spanish Mission on St. Catherines Island”
This lecture addresses the nostalgia and romance that has long surrounded the Franciscan and Jesuit missions in America. From San Francisco (California) through the American Southwest to St. Augustine (Florida), mainstream American history has constructed and perpetuated an idealized, romanticized version of the Spanish mission – complete with Mission Revival architectural styles and reconstructed archaeological sites that sometimes resemble Hollywood stage sets. This illustrated talk draws upon the most recent archaeological evidence from St. Catherines Island and suggests a more historically-appropriate perspectives on America’s mission heritage.
March 27: Chris McCabe “Georgia’s Underwater Archaeology: A Coastal Perspective”
Situated in Savannah where much of Georgia’s maritime heritage originated, the state’s underwater archaeology field station oversees the investigation, management, and protection of Georgia’s submerged cultural resources.
Historical and archaeological records indicate the presence of hundreds of shipwrecks and other maritime related sites throughout the state, many of which are located in and around Chatham County. This presentation will highlight the underwater archaeology program’s mission and responsibilities while examining a few significant regional projects along the Georgia coast.
April 16: Lance Greene “Life in the Prison Pen: Archaeology at Camp Lawton”
Since the discovery of intact archaeological deposits at the Confederate POW site of Camp Lawton, field work conducted by archaeologists from Georgia Southern University has shown that many parts of the camp, including prisoners’ huts and the stockade wall, are well preserved. Future research at the site will include excavations at these locations, as well as a search for Confederate barracks and other structures. In this way, we hope to compare the lives of Union prisoners and their guards.
Abby the Archaeobus is a creation of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, a group of professional and amateur archaeologists as well as interested citizens. The Archaeobus 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!
The Archaeobus visited the Armstrong campus on March 18 and was visited by more than 200 students and other visitors including faculty and home school students.
Student field trips and walking tours dominated the fall 2013 events. Students visited the State Underwater Archaeology lab on Skidaway Island and got a tour of St. Catherines’ Island archaeology from David Hurst Thomas.
We hosted two guided hikes at Skidaway Island State Park, covering three miles and 5,000 years on the Big Ferry Trail. A walking tour of downtown gave tourists and locals a sense of the history beneath their feet.
In the spring semester we took students on several field trips, including Camp Lawton and the excavations at the Davenport House. In addition, Digging Savannah offered three public walking tours.
February 22, April 5, May 25– 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. Find a map of the park here.
The hike is $10 per person (this includes your park pass) or free for Friends of Georgia State Parks members. Buy tickets here. Friends members, please RSVP at the ticketing link.
March 15 & May 17- 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 here.
The ArchaeoBus also returned to Savannah! On February 28 from 10am to 4pm, Abby the ArchaeoBus was on the Armstrong campus. Armstrong students and home school students are particularly encouraged to attend. Then on March 1, the ArchaeoBus was in the Savannah Mall from 10am to 5pm, parked at the entrance near the Ruby Tuesdays.
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!
Digging Savannah Events for the Fall of 2014:
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. The tour starts at the flagpole at Battlefield Park (next the railroad museum) at 3pm. Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.
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 Late Archaic Native Americans to the 20th century. The hike starts at the Big Ferry Trail head at 3pm and is $10 per person (this includes your park pass) or free for Friends of Georgia State Parks members. Buy tickets or RSVP at Eventbrite.com.
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. While not required, your RSVP is greatly appreciated.
Many thanks to our co-sponsor, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah.