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Governor of Kentucky Recognizes September as Archaeology Month

Sep 10, 2014

Staff in the Kentucky office of Brockington and Associates helped to form a steering committee of The Kentucky Organization of Professional Archaeologists (KyOPA) to spearhead and implement the formal recognition of archaeology research and outreach in Kentucky. September 2014 is the second year for Kentucky Archaeology Month, which will be held annually to coincide with Kentucky’s popular Living Archaeology Weekend (LAW) and other heritage-centered events across the Commonwealth.  Forty-one US states currently celebrate annual archaeology months, and despite its rich history, prior to 2013, Kentucky was not among them.  Kentucky Archaeologists  wanted to join in recognizing the value of archaeology. Archaeology month activities will greatly contribute to public awareness of Kentucky’s archaeological past, while enhancing the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet’s interpretive and educational goals.
The mission of the Kentucky Archaeology Month steering committee is to foster statewide relationships and network statewide events so that we can all celebrate the archaeology of Kentucky each September.  This year the committee was successful in harnessing the Governor’s support.   Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed September as Kentucky Archaeology Month, to commemorate the contributions made through the professional practice of archaeology toward the public’s understanding of – and appreciation for – the Commonwealth’s rich cultural heritage. 

To find out where and when events are taking place across the state, check out the Kentucky Archaeology Month event calendar at

Get a Crash Course on Interpretive Writing

Aug 14, 2014

Two members of our own History Workshop, Carol Poplin and Callie McLean, invite you to flex your writing muscle in a session they will lead at the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC).

Whether you need a refresher or are a beginner, Carol and Callie will go through the basics of how to get started writing your interpretive text for your exhibits, labels, interactives and more! They will explain how to develop a central theme and then how to determine subthemes and storylines. Activities within the workshop will allow participants to engage with one another and have hands-on experience to more effectively learn. Using an idea devised by Dr. Catherine Lewis of Kennessaw State University, who will jointly present with Carol and Callie,  participants will be challenged to create a central theme using random objects not normally seen in a museum. Moving on, Carol and Callie will explain how to get these ideas on paper (or panels, labels, etc…). Participants will understand how to break down information and attract visitors with text and design. The session leaders will discuss the usefulness of infographics, what they are, and how to devise them. Participants are encouraged to bring in specific questions for their own text they might be writing. Participants will work together with example text (or brought in text) to determine how best to display the given information. Discussions will come from each activity and bring a deeper understanding to the material.

The 2014 SEMC meeting is being held in Knoxville, Tennessee, and will take place from October 20-22. Carol and Callie's session, entitled "Crash Course on Interpretive Writing,” is scheduled for October 21, from 9:30 to 11:00 am.

Multiple Scales of Interaction and Tradition in the Early Side-Notched Horizon

Aug 11, 2014

Dr.Kara Bridgman Sweeney, an Archaeologist in our Savannah office, will be presenting at the 71st annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) being held in Greenville, South Carolina from November 12-15, 2014. Dr. Bridgman Sweeney will be participating in a symposium titled "Early Human Life on the Southeastern Coastal Plain."

Having recently completed a research project documenting evidence for social boundaries and intergroup interactions within the Early Side-Notched Horizon, Dr. Bridgman Sweeney found additional support for certain models of colonization, regionalization, and settlement for the Southeast. Her research suggests that distinct, place-oriented subregional traditions initiated during the late Paleoindian period continued into the Early Archaic. Dr. Bridgman Sweeney posits that, as descendent groups intensified their use of certain resource-rich river drainages, they also  revisited other locations for the primary purpose of cementing social bonds at a regional scale. She finds that large-scale sharing networks, facilitated by regular cross-drainage mobility, are reflected in the patterned variation within two classes of side-notched tools made of Coastal Plain chert.

Dr. Bridgman Sweeney will be joining Larry James from our Charleston office in representing Brockington at SEAC this year.

Learn about St. George's Parish Church and Cemetery

Aug 07, 2014

Larry James, an Archaeologist in our Charleston office, will be presenting at the 71st annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) taking place in November in Greenville, South Carolina. Mr. James' recent research focuses on the ruins of St. George’s Parish Church at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in Summerville, South Carolina. The church and it's associated cemetery were in use from 1719 through the 1830s.

The surviving bell tower of St. George's is a stark reminder of an 18th-century Anglican community that endured years of prosperity, war, fire, and abandonment. Archaeological investigations that took place in 2012 and 2013 allowed researchers to study the enigmatic past of this sacred site. This work illuminated the connection between the spatial arrangement, architecture, and material remains of St. George's Parish Church and cemetery and the larger community of Dorchester. Mr. James' paper will  present the results of this investigation and detail the archaeological integrity of this unique historic landscape.

Mr. Jame's  presentation is included in a symposium titled "Archaeology in South Carolina State Parks," which will also feature papers on sites at Charlestowne Landing and Hampton Plantation. We are pleased to note that Mr. James is one of several researchers who will be representing Brockington at SEAC later this year.

The Pine Level Site Selected For Nomination to the National Register

Jun 27, 2014

On June 26, the bi-annual meeting of the Florida National Register Review Board heard the nomination of the Pine Level site (8DE14) for the National Register of Historic Places. Pine Level, located 8 miles west of Arcadia, Florida, is the former seat of Manatee County, and later DeSoto County. The town was founded in 1866 during the Reconstruction Period (1866-1877), and played a pivotal role in the settlement of South Florida during the social and political upheaval that followed the close of the Civil War. Once a small bustling town, complete with a courthouse, jail, school, churches, stores, saloons, boardinghouses, and a newspaper, Pine Level was bypassed by the Florida Southern Railway in the late 1880s. Soon after, Pine Level lost county seat status and began to decline. No longer identifiable as a former town, the Pine Level site has seen little development and is now home to a cattle pasture and an orange grove.

The site's nomination was written by Jana Futch, an archaeologist in Brockington's Atlanta office, for the DeSoto County Historical Society through a grant from the State of Florida. The Florida National Register Review Board, noting that Pine Level is one of only seven Reconstruction Era sites recorded in the state, voted to accept the site's nomination as locally significant. Staff at the Florida Division of Historical Resources will now prepare the nomination for submittal to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., who will ultimately determine whether the site should be listed on the National Register.

This nomination will join another written by Ms. Futch, with Scott Butler, for the Chattahoochee River Line Battlefield, a Civil War site that was accepted for nomination by the Georgia National Register Review Board in February. The National Park Service's official determinations for these nominations is expected later this year.

Community participates in Brockington and The History Workshop's Georgia Archaeology Month Event

Jun 03, 2014

Brockington and The History Workshop led an exciting discussion about Creative Mitigation and Site Destruction. Participants developed their own exhibit themes based on the below artifacts. The themes were: time travel, trade, the life cycle of a site and status symbols. Attendees addressed questions, such as: What themes would you develop? How would you arrange these artifacts to best express a specific theme?  

Archaeology is an inherently destructive process however, there is much to learn from excavation. The knowledge gained through this careful process is used to better understand peoples and cultures.  The History Workshop uses information gleamed from Brockington’s archaeologists and historians to develop engaging public exhibits. We had fun discussing our experiences with participants and working with them to develop a truly unique exhibit! 

Georgia Archaeology Month Presentation

May 14, 2014

Brockington and Associates and the History Workshop will present an introduction to Collections Processing and Archaeological Exhibit Planning on May 24, 2014 from 2- 4pm as part of Georgia’s Archaeology Month. Meagan Brady, Analytical Specialist at Brockington and Associates, will present and discuss a collection of Woodland Period artifacts excavated and analyzed by Brockington and Associates. This will include an examination of many exciting objects, including Swift Creek pottery. Callie McLean, Exhibit Designer for The History Workshop, will demonstrate how to develop engaging exhibit content.  Using information gleaned from the artifact discussion attendees will create their very own exhibit.  Please join us for wine, snacks and archaeology! 

"Finding Freedom's Home" at the Coastal Discovery Museum

Mar 06, 2014

On March 27, the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island will feature "Finding Freedom's Home," a talk by Scott Butler.  Mr. Butler, a senior archaeologist in our Atlanta office, will discuss the recently completed Mitchelville archaeological project, which took place at the Hilton Head Airport. Mitchelville was an African-American residential community first established during the Civil War.  The site is located adjacent to Fort Howell, an earthen Civil War fort listed on the National Register. The Mitchelville site contains the remains of individual freedmen’s houses, as well as an extensive Civil War military component.

The Coastal Discovery Museum is also home to an exhibit of Mitchelville artifacts recovered by Brockington, which opened earlier this year.  Mr. Butler's talk is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

St. Johns County Seeking Historical Facts and Photographs about Northwest Area

Feb 20, 2014

St. Johns County, FL. - St. Johns County is asking residents and other members of the public with interesting historical photographs or little known facts about northwest St. Johns County to participate in a historical analysis and survey of historic structures along the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway. Brockington and Associates, a cultural resources consulting firm, has been retained to research and document the history of northwest St. Johns County, and survey several existing historic structures in the area. Residents interested in participating and sharing relevant information or photos are asked to contact Brockington and Associates’ Senior Historian, Charlie Philips at or 843.532.6327. The deadline to respond is February 28.

Northwest St. Johns County has a rich history, with written records extending to European exploration and settlement in the early 1500s. While St. Augustine was a primary commercial center, some of the earliest rural settlements in the county were located along the St. Johns River. This study will create a historical narrative of northwest St. Johns County and identify the unique characteristics of native inhabitants along this section of the St. Johns River. The consultant will document major Northwest St. Johns County historical events, from the 16th through the 21st centuries. Historical topics of interest that will be addressed include, but are not limited to, Native American influences and towns, development of mission outposts, British rice and indigo plantations, cattle ranches, citrus groves, lumber/turpentine harvesters, other agricultural growers, small farms, establishment of African-American communities during the territorial and early statehood. Historical transportation influences such as the roll of steam boats, Civil War gunboats, construction of the railroad, and impacts of modern development and infrastructure will also be discussed. Major historical events will be discussed and analyzed to determine the influence on humans in the evaluation of racial strife and conflict, Civil War, impacts of World War II, and 20th century impacts.

Houses and other buildings possibly associated with historic events in northwest St. Johns County will be identified and discussed in this study and will be addressed and discussed further within the overall history. A Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byway program grant provided funding for the project, with matching funds provided by St. Johns County on behalf of the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway organization. For additional information about the northwest Historical Analysis project, please feel free to contact Vickie Renna in the St. Johns County Growth Management Department at or 904.209.0615.

Brockington's Work at Mitchelville Featured in History Workshop Exhibit

Jan 27, 2014

In 2013, Brockington completed extensive excavations at the former town site of Mitchelville, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Mitchelville was an important and early freedman's town founded during the tumult of the Civil War, in 1862. The work, which was lead by Scott Butler, was completed in preparation for the expansion of the Hilton Head airport.

Building on the artifacts and stories gathered during the excavation, Brockington's History Workshop recently completed an exhibit on Mitchelville.  The exhibit is now open at the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island, and is featured in an article by the Island Packet.  See link below to read the whole story (and see the video!).

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