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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!

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.

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