By Carol Poplin
2008 65th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina
Presented in a session called "Crossing the Combahee - On land, Underwater, and In-between." The session was about Brockington's archaeological investigations at Combahee Ferry. Those investigations were undertaken ahead of road widening and bridge replacement activities.
The 1966 National Historic Protection Act generated a cultural resource management industry eager to conduct new federal and state mandated archaeological and historical investigations. Until recently, sharing this information with the public has not been a priority. This paper explores the challenges of presenting archaeology to the public within the framework of CRM and offers ideas for transcending the boundaries that often exist between archaeological research and public interpretation. The public program designed for the SC Department of Transportation's Combahee Ferry Historic District mitigation project serves as a case study.
An Explanatory Framework for Predictive Modeling Using an Example from Marion, Horry, Dillon, and Marlboro Counties, South Carolina
By Thomas G. Whitley, and Inna Moore
2008 In, "Digital Discovery: Exploring New Frontiers in Human Heritage", Jeffery T. Clark and Emily M. Hagemeister (editors), Archaeolingua, Budapest, Hungary, pp121-130
It has been argued at the CAA, and other conferences, in the last few years that archaeological predictive models which explain the relationships between the environment and human activity, rather than merely identifying presumed correlations, have the greatest potential to inform land management decision-making. Additionally, employing such models in a GIS framework allows us to examine some of the academic issues and preconceived ideas about human settlement that have been developed by the archaeologists working in a region. Recently, an explanatory approach to archaeological predictive modeling was designed and used for a large scale highway development project in eastern South Carolina. Encompassing four counties located almost entirely in the Coastal Plain, and covering more than 6500 square kilometers (~2600 square miles) this model was an ideal test for some of our notions about the nature of human settlement, procurement, and interactive behaviors. The results of this model suggest that an explanatory approach is more enlightening, more flexible, more efficient, more effective, and ultimately more useful than any other approach for this largely homogenous region. They also indicate that the approach could be employed anywhere, can be used to establish regional and/or local baselines on which to build with new information or ideas, and is adaptive to the needs of a particular project or study question.
Making the Most of All Those Posts: Mississippian Architecture at Site 9FN341 Fannin County, Georgia
By Jeff Sherard
2007 Southeastern Archaeological Conference
Site 9FN341 is a large prehistoric site situated on the first terrace along the eastern bank of the Toccoa River in Fannin County, Georgia. The site is situated in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province which is in close proximity to the Chickamauga Basin in eastern Tennessee and the southwestern portion of the Appalachian Summit of North Carolina. Archaeological survey and excavations, while having a long history in north Georgia, have been conducted on a limited basis in the Blue Ridge area proper. Much of the work in northern Georgia has been focused on important sites and large survey projects located near Carters Lake, Allatoona Lake and the Nacoochee Valley. While these areas are located in the Piedmont and Ridge and Valley Districts of Georgia, they occupy areas in the state that seem to have been inhabited by prehistoric populations that had some level of interaction with groups occupying the Blue Ridge. As such, the location of 9FN341 plays a critical role in defining the site within an archaeological context. Present day 9FN341 is located at the junction of important prehistoric cultural groups. Presented here is an interpretation of the potential architectural expressions encountered during excavations at this site.
By Carolyn Rock with contributions by Rita Folse Elliott and Terry Jackson
The Coastal Management Program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
From November 2005 to September 2006, an archaeological site inventory was conducted in Camden County. The inventory consisted of an analysis of 266 previously documented sites, and a search for additional sites through interviews with collectors, historians, and local citizens. In addition, a sample of systematic surface surveys was conducted. A total of 119 new sites were documented, an increase of 45% over those 266 recorded from the past forty years. All new sites (except underwater sites) were visited and their characteristics listed on official Georgia Archaeological Site File (GASF) forms, to be stored at GASF in Athens for future research.
Most new sites were located in the western part of the county, an area virtually ignored during the course of earlier archaeological work. Time periods for prehistoric sites ranged from late Paleo Indian (Dalton – ca. 8000 B.C.), very rare on the coast, through Contact Period. Almost all were typed as artifact scatters. Historic sites found ranged from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, and included plantations, sunken ships, homesteads, sawmills, rice mills, docks, dikes and burial sites.
It is anticipated that the documentation of these new sites will aid in future archaeological research, as well as in conservation planning as Camden County grows and develops.
By Thomas G. Whitley
2005 In, "Predictive Modelling for Archaeological Heritage Management: A Research Agenda", Martijn van Leusen and Hans Kamermans (editors), Nederlandse Archeologische Rapporten 29, Amersfoort: ROB, pp125-139.
In our effort to identify and manage the significant resources which comprise our cultural heritage, archaeologists have employed a number of methods which have focused on linking "sites" with key spatial factors in a predictive framework. Until recently these efforts have been largely correlative, deterministic, and devoid of social or interpretative theory. This has evolved into practical methods which lack an explication of causality, conflict with the intended economic or interpretative purposes of the undertaking, and relegate human cognition (both in the past and today) to being vaguely represented by a "black box" of uncertainty. In contrast, causality-based methods of cognitive modeling have the potential to produce ways of managing archaeological heritage, explaining patterns of cognition and behavior, and introducing agency and complexity into theories of human-spatial interaction. If the underlying causal relationships between conditions, events and decisions related to site selection are outlined in a mechanistic and probabilistic fashion, we may begin to understand why certain areas are selected for different kinds of behaviors, how that is transformed into what we consider to be "sites," and how we could use our knowledge to identify and protect significant archaeological resources. The methods presented here will be outlined on a theoretical basis, presented in a practical framework, and summarized as the intersection of three quite distinct kinds of models; past site selection, management priority, and disturbances.
By Thomas G. Whitley
2004 69th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Montreal, Canada
One of the benefits of GIS is the ability to rapidly analyze massive amounts of spatial data. This typically means using a "top-down" or aerial view of large expanses of terrain. Given that few inhabitants of any region make observations by orbiting satellite, we must assume that spatial choices are made using a series of cognitive landscapes visualized from an individual or "immersive" perspective. Through the creative use of standard spatial tools it is possible to simulate an immersive perspective for a wide variety of archaeological situations and address the sociocultural issues of decision-making, risk management, and site selection processes.
By Thomas G. Whitley
2003 In, "Enter the Past: The E-way into Four Dimensions of Cultural Heritage", Magistrat der Stadt Wien, Referat Kulturelles Erbe, Stadtarchaeologie Wien (editors), BAR International Series 1227, Archaeopress, U.K. pp236-239.
In recent years numerous archaeological approaches to predictive modeling have been presented in the literature. Most of these have taken the "inductive" perspective of applying known site locations to an analysis that estimates probable site location based on a mathematical equation and presents predictive surfaces in a GIS. Conversely, "deductive" models have also been used in which "expert systems" or site selection variables have been quantified as probability surfaces. There has been little discussion, though, of the differences between CRM and academic-based predictive modeling and how it has influenced the state of the "science" today. Generating more refined correlative predictive models either through the use of higher quality site location data or through more complex statistical techniques, runs counter to the implicit goals of CRM-based predictive modeling. A simple cognitive GIS approach which assumes a causal explanatory relationship creates comparable or better results (especially in homogenous areas) with no negative effects on these limited goals. Ultimately, the dichotomy between correlative and cognitive approaches is not in theoretical orientation, rather it is embodied in our understanding (or failure to understand) that correlative predictive modeling is really a tool useful only for land management, not interpretive archaeology.
By Patricia Stallings
2002 Masters Thesis, University of Georgia
For two centuries, owners of the Shields-Ethridge Farm in Jackson County, Georgia adapted to changes in the larger agricultural scene. Following the pattern of other upcountry settlers, they first cultivated tobacco, then switched primarily to cotton when the region became immersed in the growing market. By 1900, the glutted economy began to show signs of recovery, enticing the farm's new owner, Ira Washington Ethridge, to fully participate in its growth. Transforming the farm into a complex of cultivation and ancillary businesses, Ethridge left a decided mark on the operation. With mechanization, though, the region's cotton production waned, leaving cotton-dependant farms like the Ethridge's to face crucial decisions. Today, the farm serves as a growing museum, one that can fill a void left by other living history farms that focus primarily on historic agriculture and not the social and cultural changes brought by mechanization.