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Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War Workshop

Jul 27, 2015

On July 24-25, Scott Butler attended a special workshop to create a Research Design for the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War.  The workshop was hosted by the National Park Service, and included staff from SEAC in Tallahassee, Florida, the Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens, and Kings Mountain Battlefields, and many prominent battlefield archaeologists.  Speakers included Doug Scott on battlefield archaeology, Larry Babbitts on the Southern campaign, Scott Butler on the Battle of the Waxhaws, Kris McMasters on the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), and Michael Seibert on future archaeological investigations at the Cowpens Battlefield.  Saturday began with a tour of Cowpens led by Larry Babbitts, author of A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens.

Bulloch Hall Summer Camp Archaeologists

Jul 07, 2015

On July 7, Meagan Brady and Jana Futch from Brockington's Atlanta office met up with kids and counselors at the annual Bulloch Hall Summer Camp in Roswell. The kids learned that the most important thing that archaeologists do is gather information, and that we collect information in many ways. First, the budding archaeologists found four different "sites" by placing flagging pins next to "artifacts." Then they helped to map the site to determine what each one represented. The sites included a crossroads, a house with a well, a series of campfires, and a large trash pit.

Next, the kids got to handle and sort real artifacts, like prehistoric and historic ceramics, metal nails, shell, and stone tools. They imagined what the artifacts could have been used for, and what they tell us about the people who used them.

Finally, they conducted a "cookie excavation" where they could show off their excavation skills by using picks to carefully remove chocolate chip "artifacts" from their cookie "site." This showed how difficult it can be to remove artifacts without damaging them. The kids who excavated the most artifacts had the most information about their site and the people who lived there. This task was especially difficult because the heat outdoors kept melting the chocolate chips!

All our young archaeologists did great work and we look forward to seeing them again next year!

Ponds Conservancy Honored with Preservation Award

Jun 12, 2015

On June 5, 2015, the Ponds Conservancy was presented with the South Carolina Historic Preservation Award for their efforts to protect and maintain historic resources at The Ponds, a large residential development in Summerville, South Carolina. Brockington nominated the Conservancy specifically for their "restoration and adaptive reuse of the Schulz-Lotz historic home into a workable and sustainable centerpiece for their subdivision," as well as for their overall commitment to cultural resources at The Ponds development. Brockington has completed several successful archaeological projects for Kolter Homes, the primary developer of The Ponds.

The award is sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and was presented by Lt. Governor Henry McMaster. Read more about the Ponds Conservancy and the South Carolina Historic Preservation Award at the link below.

Chattahoochee River Line Battlefield Listed on the National Register

Jun 11, 2015

Brockington is pleased to announce that the Chattahoochee River Line Battlefield (also called Johnston's River Line) has been expanded and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Multiple Property Documentation. The River Line was an important set of defensive works that were commissioned by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston in July, 1864, to slow or halt the advance US General William T. Sherman's armies towards Atlanta. Constructed using a unique type of redoubt called a "Shoupade," the River Line was built on the northern and western sides of the Chattahoochee River by enslaved laborers as the Union army approached the city. Fighting within the Chattahoochee River Line Battlefield took place between July 5-10th, as Union troops entrenched themselves in front of the Confederate positions. While skirmishing was on-going, Sherman sought a way around River Line, which he called "the strongest field fortifications I ever saw." After Union troops located a crossing point on the Chattahoochee River, Johnson ordered the evacuation of the River Line, and the Confederates fell back to prepared defensive works closer to Atlanta.

Portions of the River Line, as well as the Union fortifications, are still extant in and around Mableton, Georgia. The Mableton Improvement Coalition (MIC) contracted with Brockington to survey portions of the Battlefield, and then to write a multiple property nomination to the National Register. The benefit of a multiple property nomination is that new portions of the Battlefield can be added to the National Register as they are surveyed or donated. MIC plans to develop a public park and nature trail along Nickajack Creek and the Chattahoochee River that will incorporate portions of the Battlefield, and key components of the River Line itself. See the link below to read more about the nomination.

Christy Pritchard Accepts the Ida Lee Willis Award

Jun 02, 2015

Brockington is proud to announce that Christy Pritchard accepted the Ida Lee Willis Award on May 27th, 2015, on behalf of the Living Archaeology Weekend Steering Committee. The award was presented by the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office and the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation. Honoring a seminal figure in Kentucky preservation, the Ida Lee Willis Award is given annually in appreciation of individuals, organizations, and local governments that make significant contributions to the preservation of Kentucky's heritage.

Living Archaeology Weekend has been promoting cultural resources preservation for over 25 years. LAW is a nonprofit educational program focused on the past technologies of Kentucky’s native and pioneer peoples, and the preservation of the archaeological remains of those lifeways. A free, annual, two-day public outreach event with an associated web site, LAW is one of few public archaeology education programs of its magnitude in Kentucky. Through innovative demonstrations, hands-on activities, and dozens of educational resources, LAW has fostered respect for cultural resources and promoted public stewardship of the archaeological record to 35,000 fifth-grade students and other visitors.

Brockington Supports Historic Preservation Priorities in Washington D.C.

Mar 24, 2015

Ralph Bailey, Senior Archaeologist and Branch Chief of our Charleston Office, recently traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the 2015 National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week with the American Cultural Resource Association (ACRA).  An annual event, Advocacy Week brings together a number of groups to target legislative priorities for historic preservation nationwide. Specific priorities this year included the allocation of $60 million for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) for Fiscal Year 2016, including $10 million in competitive grants. Along with a 40% state match, the HPF provides critical funding for State Historic Preservation Offices.  A second priority is the continued support of the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program. The HTC is administered by the National Park Service and Internal Revenue Service in conjunction with State Historic Preservation Offices to support all types of income producing historic buildings.

As part of the South Carolina Delegation, Mr. Bailey met with Senator Tim Scott while participating in the meetings in D.C. You can read more about the goals and accomplishments of Advocacy Week at the Preservation Action website.

Mitchellville on the Move

Mar 19, 2015

Brockington is pleased to announce that the Mitchellville traveling exhibit, created by our own History Workshop, is now open at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, South Carolina. The exhibit tells the story of enslaved people who fled for Union lines near Port Royal in 1861, forming one of the first self-governing freedmen's communities in the country. The artifacts in the exhibit were excavated by Brockington archaeologists during a recent project focused on learning more about the lives and stories of the people of Mitchellville.

Follow the link below to find out more about the exhibit and all the other amazing things to see and do at the South Carolina State Museum!

Renfroe Middle School Science Showcase

Feb 24, 2015

Brockington staff were excited to take part in the Science Showcase at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur on Friday, February 13, 2015. Alicia Sullivan, Cat McBee, Stacey Whitacre, and Andrew Scarr talked about archaeology and cultural resource management to select groups of 7th graders in a series of fun, interactive presentations.  They shared a slideshow of projects, artifacts, and sites that Brockington has worked on over the years, and students were able to examine some of the lithics, ceramic sherds, and other artifacts that Brockington has recovered through careful excavation.

Our archaeologists and laboratory staff were impressed with how engaged the kids were with the information, and some of the really penetrating questions they came up with to explore the subject further. We look forward to participating again next year!

Archaeology of the War of 1812

Oct 02, 2014

Brockington is pleased to announce Scott Butler's inclusion in a new volume highlighting the archaeology of the War of 1812. A Senior Archaeologist in our Atlanta office, Mr. Butler lead a project related to the War of 1812 in 2003 at Point Peter, near St. Marys, Georgia. Point Peter was a United States Army garrison manned by infantry and riflemen. In 1814, the 80 men stationed at Point Peter retreated in the face of 800 British troops.

Brockington's 2003 project identified the remains of burned barracks, a large trash heap, a well, and a privy at Point Peter, as well as a wealth of artifacts related to the site's military history. Bones recovered from the trash heap showed that the U.S. troops had supplemented their rations with wild game, fish, and mollusks. Species included deer, beaver, opossum, muskrat, duck, alligator, stingray, and more. Expensive ceramics and glassware found in the well and privy may be the result of the later British occupation of the garrison. British troops were widely reported to have looted the surrounding plantations. It is likely that they brought the fine china and glass vessels taken from the plantation houses back to Point Peter, where they were used and consumed by the celebrating troops. Many of the artifacts recovered from Point Peter are now on display at the National Park Service Museum in St. Marys.

Mr. Butler's article on Point Peter is one of many fascinating works included in the Archaeology of the War of 1812, edited by Michael T. Lucas and Julie M. Schablitsky. Just like the War of 1812, the book spans the length of the continental United States, from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake, and from the Midwest to the South.

Pine Level Site (8DE14) Listed on the National Register

Sep 30, 2014

The Pine Level site (8DE14) was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in recognition of the site's importance to the history of south Florida. Founded in 1866, Pine Level was the county seat of first Manatee, then DeSoto County, and was a thriving community in the 1870s and 1880s. Bypassed by the railroad, Pine Level slowly died out by about 1900 and is now home to an orange orchard and a cow pasture. Recent archaeological investigations of the site were conducted with the combined efforts of the DeSoto County Historical Society, the Florida Public Archaeology Network, and the University of South Florida. These investigations showed that Pine Level contains important information about nineteenth-century frontier Florida, and suggested that the site should be preserved.

Jana Futch, an archaeologist with our Atlanta office, participated in the Pine Level investigations and wrote the site's nomination for the NRHP. Ms. Futch will lead group tours of the site at the upcoming Pine Level Public Art and Archaeology Day, to be held on October 18, 2014. Along with archaeological activities, the event will feature an art competition focused on ideas and conceptions of Old Pine Level. All are invited to attend the event near Arcadia, Florida and celebrate Pine Level's listing on the National Register!

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