/ Georgia /
Seville / Cuba
Below is an assortment of photographs (mostly scans from
slides) of various archaeological field projects I've been involved with in my
home state of Georgia. This page will be updated as new images are scanned
from these and other projects.
/ Raccoon Ridge /
/ Soapstone Ridge
Thompson Site Excavations, 1999-2001
As part of the public programming of the
Foundation based in Calhoun, Georgia, I supervised excavations at the Thompson
site along the Coosawattee River between 1999 and 2001. The site contains
extensive evidence for Mississippi period occupation, including a substantial
16th-century village that has produced evidence for Spanish contact from the
Luna and Soto expeditions. Many schoolchildren and volunteers worked at
||Initial testing and later block excavation
were all carried out with the participation of middle-school classes from
Gordon County; pictured are Jim Langford with several students.
||Even younger groups were able to tour and
participate in sifting and other activities; pictured are several third
grade students with their teacher and me.
||Each class was introduced to basic labwork,
including artifact-washing and initial rough-sorting, as part of their field
exercise; pictured are archaeology educator Dea Mozingo and a number of
students and parents.
||More extensive excavations adjacent to the
presumptive platform mound remnant revealed a constellation of postmolds
from several identifiable prehistoric structures, as well as several
previously-looted pit features; pictured are Adrienne Lerner and another
Raccoon Ridge Project,
The Raccoon Ridge site is a remarkable multicomponent
achaeological site in the eastern Georgia Piedmont, which included substantial
occupations during the Early Mississippi (Vining culture) and Late Mississippi
(Lamar culture) periods. This site was the focus of new public archaeology
programs at Fernbank Museum of Natural History during the 1990s, and literally
hundreds of schoolchildren and adult volunteers participated in fieldwork at the
site. The selection of images below is only a sampling.
||A view of members of our first field school
(and me) shovel-scraping a recently uncovered area. The Piedmont red clay was
ever-present at the site, but made prehistoric postmolds and pits almost
||Darrell Woodall and students excavating a
unit during one of the many week-long summer field school for middle school
||Students practiced replicating prehistoric
pottery during each field school session; this was usually one of the most
popular activities; pictured is field assistant Raj Gupta and several
||The thin upland plowzone was carefully
scraped away with a small, flat-bladed backhoe after initial surface
collection, commonly revealing underground features that related to one of
the two major occupations.
||Dr. David Noble with students at the
waterscreen. The clayey soils made dry-screening all but impossible in
||Darrell Woodall and Dea Mozingo, shovels in
hand, both of whom dedicated many years of work to the Raccoon Ridge project
(including Dea's 1998 Master's thesis).
||The final result of several years of
excavation was the identification of two substantial (and nearly identical)
late prehistoric round-houses along with the remains of several associated
rectangular structures. Some two or three smaller, much earlier
structures were also identified in the same area.
Middle Flint River Survey, 1986-1988
My master's thesis fieldwork with the
University of Georgia was conducted along the Flint
River in the upper Coastal Plain of central Georgia, where I ultimately recorded
113 new archaeological sites along a considerable stretch of river. In
addition to pedestrian survey of sites ranging from Paleo-Indian to historic
American in age, I also excavated testpits in the two Mississippian platform
mounds that served as chiefly centers for a chiefdom extending from the Fall
Line southward into the wide floodplain expanse of the middle Flint River.
||The Middle Flint River was a remote and
undeveloped landscape, particularly within the floodplain, which extended as
much as 4 miles wide in some places. Boat travel was the only way to
reach many areas, and alligators sunning themselves were common sights along
the many sandbars.
||The pristine waterways of the Flint River
are dotted by standing remnants of Native American fish weirs, originally
constructed during prehistoric times and probably maintained sporadically
well into the early historic period.
||Difficulties in surveying the middle Flint
River in the late 1980s are highlighted by Miona Ferry, which was closed not
long after this photo was taken, when a road finally traversed the river at
this point. Without a boat, daily survey was normally limited to one
side of the river or the other.
||The search for a fabled "lost mound" in the
deep swamp of the Flint River floodplain ultimately proved fruitless, and
was hindered by vast swamps with cottonmouth moccasins in the wet areas and
wild boars in the few dry areas. Pictured are Ricky Hill and Maxwell
||Excavating a first testpit in
Hartley-Posey mound during the summer of 1986; pictured are me digging and Alan Maddux and Sonny Hartley
at the sifter.
||Posthole pattern forming the wall of a
circular structure identified in 1986 under Hartley-Posey mound, dating to
ca. A.D. 1150-1200.
||View of my advisor Dr. David Hally shoveling
in a testpit at Neisler Mound in the summer of 1987, along with Maxwell Duke
and his singing dog Rose.
||Another shot of the crew during the 1987
test excavation at Neisler; pictured are Keith Stephenson, Jennifer
Lozowski, Maxwell Duke, and others.
||Another view of Rose during 1988 topographic
mapping of the 25-foot-tall Neisler Mound, which turned out to have a
two-level summit that was invisible to the naked eye.
Soapstone Ridge, 1981
My first archaeological fieldwork was as a high-school volunteer
with the 1981 Georgia State University archaeological field school under Dr. Roy
Dickens, conducted at the Fork Creek Mountain site in DeKalb County. The
site was a Late Archaic steatite quarry, where stone bowls were quarried
in-place with quartzite and diabase tools.
||A shot of me taking notes in an excavation
unit with GSU student Gary Petherick.
||View of "Dr. D." examining an interesting
feature alongside a soapstone boulder; in addition to me, pictured are Amy
Phillips, Gary Petherick, and several other students whose names I can't
||A unit filled with soapstone rubble;
pictured are Leslie Raymer (taking notes) along with Bobbi _____ and another
||An improvised location for the GSU