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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!).

Kara Bridgman Sweeney Presents Ongoing Early Archaic Research

Dec 17, 2013

Dr. Bridgman Sweeney, an Archaeologist in our Savannah office, recently presented at the 70th annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC), held from November 6-10, 2013. Her paper, titled "Subregional Traditions and the Early Side-Notched Horizon in Florida" examines the relationships among Early Archaic groups in Florida through lithic analysis.

Dr. Bridgman Sweeney's recent research identified evidence for relatively distinct subregional traditions within the Early Side-Notched Horizon. As part of an analysis of numerous side-notched tools (including hafted bifaces and unifaces) from throughout the Coastal Plain, she documented variation within the established Bolen and Edgefield Scraper artifact types throughout Florida. Dr. Bridgman Sweeney suggests that extensive social and information-sharing networks assisted Florida groups who often faced unpredictable environmental conditions during the Early Archaic. Numerous lines of evidence point to the existence of a social boundary comprised of the peninsular Gulf Coast, as well as north and north-central Florida.

Brockington Work at the Barrancas Site to be Featured at 2014 SAA Annual Meeting

Oct 24, 2013

Steve Rabbysmith will present information about the Barrancas Site at the next annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), to be held in Austin, Texas from April 23-27, 2014. The Barrancas Site (8SE1354) is a  large multi-component archaeological site located at Naval Air Station, Pensacola (NAS). The site has produced a wide variety of cultural material and intact deposits that are related to its extensive occupation, and reflective of its strategic importance on Florida’s Pensacola Bay.

Past investigations of the site have focused primarily on the substantial first Spanish Period occupation at the Presidio Santa Maria de Galve, and associated fortification San Carlos de Austria. However, a recent cultural resources compliance study carried out by Brockington on other portions of the site has revealed deposits associated with the American nineteenth century, including an Antebellum Creole home site, a Civil War Union encampment, and a post-Civil War Army installation. 

The SAA presentation will provide an overview of the site’s later historical occupation and related archaeological remains, and will demonstrate the Navy’s commitment to preserving this and other important historic properties while maintaining its mission. Mr. Rabbysmith has been working with Brockington field archaeologist and University of West Florida graduate student Kad Henderson, as well as Carrie Williams, the Cultural Resource Manager of NAS, to put together the information for this presentation.  Mr. Rabbysmith's talk will be part of the symposium entitled: Navy Archaeology, Recent Research, Critical Perspectives. 

Charlie Philips Co-Authors Article for Azalea Magazine

Sep 20, 2013

The Fall edition of Azalea Magazine includes an article by historian Charlie Philips and Dr. Ed West about the history of The Ponds entitled, "Fredreik Schulz and the Boys of Summerville."

Read the article on page 32 of the magazine at:

Scott Butler Teaches Archaeology at the 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree

Aug 08, 2013

Scott Butler, Branch Chief of our Atlanta office, is not only an archaeologist and historian, but also a father to two Boy Scouts and a long-time scout leader. Mr. Butler merged his many roles this year at the 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree, where he and others helped teach the requirements of the Archaeology Merit Badge (MB).

At other Jamborees, the requirements for the Archaeology MB were taught by non-archaeologists.  Though volunteer efforts are always appreciated, Mr. Butler, and Jeanne Moe, BLM public education archaeologist, observed the efforts at the 2010 Jamboree and concluded that scouts would benefit from being taught by professional archaeologists. Ms. Moe is Director of Project Archaeology, a program funded by the Bureau of Land Management, based out of Montana State University in Bozeman. Project Archaeology uses a three-barreled approach to forward the cause of archaeology, by developing archaeology coursework for classroom teachers and museum educators; conducting workshops in using archaeology in the classroom; and providing ongoing regional mentoring between professional archaeologists and educators.

Following a request by Jeannie Moe, Robert King, BLM archaeologist from the Anchorage, Alaska office, Teresa Moyer, archaeologist from the Washington D.C. office of the National Park Service (NPS), and David Fuerst, New River Gorge National River (NPS) staff archaeologist, also volunteered to help sponsor and staff the merit badge booth in 2013.  The 2013 Jamboree was located at the new 10,600 acre BSA Summit Bechtel Reserve near Bleckley, West Virginia. The event spanned ten days (July 14-24) and had 40,000 participants. With so many days to cover, and scouts to teach, staffing the Archaeology MB booth was a team effort. Mr. Butler and Ms. Moe volunteered for the entire Jamboree, while Mr. King, Ms. Moyer, Mr. Fuerst, and others assisted throughout the event.

Over the course of nine days, the merit badge staff provided an incredible 240 scouts with 6 to 8 of the 11 archaeology merit badge requirements. The activities were offered in two hour sessions, and four sessions were offered on most days. The activities at the 2013 Jamboree provided the scouts with a substantial introduction to archaeology.  The requirements included:

·    Differentiation between archaeology and similar fields of study including geology, paleontology, history, and anthropology (Requirement 1).
·    The steps of archaeological investigation (Requirement 2).
·    Describe how archaeologists determine the age of archaeological sites (Requirement 3).
·    Archaeological stewardship dilemmas (Requirement 6a).  This activity was taken from the Intrigue of the Past (Smith et al., 1996) curriculum guide.
·    Make a list of items to include in a time capsule (Requirement 7a).
·    A “mock” excavation site for the scouts to learn how archaeologists investigate sites and draw conclusions from their data (Requirement 8c). This activity was adapted from the Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter (Letts and Moe 2012) curriculum.
·    Two types of primitive fire making; flint and steel, friction fire starting with a bow drill and spindle (Requirement 9b).
·    Investigation of careers in archaeology (Requirement 11).

In addition to teaching MB requirements, the Archaeology MB booth was often busy with interested visitors wanting to observe and participate in the activities. Ms. Moe estimates that the Archaeology staff had at least 250 additional scouts, scouting staff, and parents who visited the booth. Given its success this year at Jamboree, Mr. Butler and Ms. Moe would like to expand the number of staff at the next 2017 Jamboree, and look forward to continuing a strong partnership with NPS and other interested agencies and organizations.

Mike Reynolds to Give Talk on Recent Archaeological Work at New Savannah Bluff

Aug 05, 2013

Mike Reynolds, a Senior Historian in our Atlanta office, will be speaking to the Society for American Military Engineers in Huntington, West Virginia, on August 13, 2013. Mr. Reynolds will focus on the research and excavations at New Savannah Bluff performed recently by Brockington and Associates. Mr. Reynolds' paper is entitled "New Savannah Bluff Phase I Cultural Resources Survey and Deep Testing, the search for Mason’s Plantation Mound (38AK15), and the evaluation of an early Twentieth Century Lock and Dam. Aiken County, South Carolina and Richmond County, Georgia."

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