Thursday, May 5, 2011

'Gone But Not Forgotten': Learn about Georgia sites at archaeology group's meeting

Born in Indiana, Confederate Brig. Gen. Francis A. Shoup lent his name to a unique fortification that Union Maj. Gen William T. Sherman, intent on taking Atlanta, called “one of the strongest pieces of field fortifications I ever saw.”

The timber and earthen redoubts – known as Shoupades -- were built in the Chattahoochee River Line and were manned in July 1864.

The arrowhead shape of the forts allowed defenders to shoot in several directions. Connecting them was an infantry trench. Attackers could be fired on from several angles.

Few of the fortifications (left, model by Bill Scaife) remain.

The survey of the River Line is one of Civil War abstracts to be presented at the spring meeting of the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA), set for May 14 (Saturday) at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce in McDonough.

May is Georgia Archaeology Month and the non-profit organization’s program that weekend is entitled “Gone But Not Forgotten: Rediscovering the Civil War Through Archaeology.”

“Discover what archaeologists have learned by conducting fieldwork at forts, battlefields, prisoner of war camps and related sites across Georgia at this fun-filled and engaging affair,” SGA says.

The public is invited.

Other presentations related to the conflict:

-- Challenges of a Civil War battlefield, concentrating on investigations of the battles at Lovejoy Station, south of Atlanta.

-- Rescaca battlefield and the myth of the “hunted out” site. GIS analysis of 126 items found in a survey provides new insights into the nature of the fighting in one part of the North Georgia site.

-- Lessons learned in survey techniques at Camp Lawton, a Confederate POW camp near Millen (demonstration dig, top photo). Last summer, Georgia Southern University and federal and state officials announced the discovery of a trove of artifacts in the undisturbed site.

-- On the trail of Sherman and Johnston: Managing and researching sites on national forest land in northwest Georgia. The sites previously had never been documented using modern techniques. Preliminary results of investigations will be presented.

-- Archaeological sites around Dalton, including the Battle of Dug Gap Mountain. The sites and artifacts “provide opportunities to examine the battle from the soldier’s perspective.”

The program also includes a May 15 (Sunday) visit to nearby Nash Farm Battlefield & Museum and the Veterans Wall of Honor & Historical Military Museum at Heritage Park. The 204-battlefield was the site of the largest cavalry raid in Georgia's history and houses related artifacts.

“We hope the public will get a deeper understanding of archaeology,” GSA President Catherine Long told the Picket.

Many GSA members are professional archaeologists and hobbyists. Others work for governments or cultural resources companies.

The group, which has about 300 active members, concentrates on preservation of historic sites and educating the public about their significance.

It also warns of the dangers of vandalism and relic looting, which results in history “being taken out of context,” said Long.

During tough budgetary times for state and local governments, building partnerships is crucial for helping to preserve sites and promote stewardship, according to the society.

The society’s ArchaeoBus brings educational programs to students and residents across Georgia.

SGA also sponsors local chapters to reach those “interested in archaeology avocationally,” Long said.

The society says seating for the May 14 event is limited. The program is in the Hudgins Room at the chamber, 1709 Highway 20 West, McDonough, Ga. 30253. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The event includes a benefit silent auction. Registration is $10 for SGA members and $15 for non-members. Lunch is not provided. A donation is requested for Sunday’s field trip to Nash Farm. Call Tammy Herron of SGA at 706-831-3169 for more information, or e-mail her at

Registration info | • More about SGA | • Meeting agenda

No comments:

Post a Comment