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Thursday January 8, 2015

CONTACT: Daniel T. Elliott, The LAMAR Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 2992, Savannah, GA 31402

(706) 341-7796, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Purysburg Battlefield Survey

Public invited to archaeology presentation about ongoing search for sites of Revolutionary War Battles of Purysburg & Black Swamp, South Carolina


LAMAR Institute archaeologists will offer information about this project to the public and invite participants to share information as well. The presentation will include information gathered from historical documents during a recent research trip to Washington, D.C., New York, and Boston. The presentation will examine how archaeologists are conducting the survey on the colonial town of Purysburg, South Carolina in search of key elements of the Revolutionary War battle there in 1779. Researchers will apply systematic battlefield archaeology techniques to discover elements of the town and its battlefield. Archaeologists are focused on the American Patriot headquarters at Purysburg and Black Swamp and the soldiers garrisoned there.


A second presentation at this time by the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust will detail that organization’s work to identify historic earthworks, roads, and other landscapes in Jasper and Charleston counties. The presentations will be at the Bluffton Branch Library (843) 255-6490, 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton, South Carolina, 29910 on January 17, 2015, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.


Quick Facts:


  • This is a two-year project with various phases of research, field work, lab work, and report writing.
  • Purysburg, South Carolina became an important location in the American Revolution following the 1778 British shift to the southern theater of the war in Georgia and South Carolina.
  • Following the British taking of Savannah, Georgia in 1778, American Major General Benjamin Lincoln established his headquarters at Purysburg to regroup Patriot forces and hold the Savannah River as the front line.
  • The Patriots established its secondary headquarters at Black Swamp, north of Purysburg.
  • For the next several months, thousands of Patriot troops in the area held a stand-off with thousands of their British counterparts located across the Savannah River at New Ebenezer, Georgia.
  • Prior to the British attempt to take Charleston, South Carolina, British Major General Augustin Prevost’s troops engaged the Patriots in a brief battle at Purysburg.
  • Patriot troops commanded by General Moultrie retreated to Charleston to fortify that town in advance of Prevost’s expected attack there.
  • The 32-year-old LAMAR Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission to promote archaeological research and public education in the southeastern United States.
  • The LAMAR Institute and its associates have been awarded and/or involved in eight NPS American Battlefield Protection Program grants since 2001.


For more information or to schedule an interview with archaeologists, please contact Dan Elliott at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (706) 341.7796. For more information about The LAMAR Institute visit www.thelamarinstitute.org


This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior. The Bluffton Branch Library is not a sponsor of this program.





LAMAR Institute Awarded $87600 NPS Grant to Find Purysburg Battlefield

The U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program awarded the LAMAR Institute one of 21 Research Grants for 2014. The funded work will examine the colonial town of Purysburg, South Carolina and surrounding lands where the Patriot Army established its headquarters in 1779. When the British launched its campaign to retake the southern colonies in late 1778, the Patriot army in the south was undergoing a management change. Major General Benjamin Lincoln was enroute to Savannah to relieve Major General Robert Howe as commander of the Southern army when the British invasion force landed near Savannah. Before Lincoln could reach Savannah, however, General Howe faced the British and was severely defeated on the outskirts of Savannah, leaving the Patriot army in dissaray. General Lincoln established his headquarters at Purysburg, South Carolina, several miles up the Savannah River, and the Patriots regrouped. For the next several months thousands of troops in both armies held a stand-off with the British headquarters opposite the river at Ebenezer, Georgia. Charleston was the ultimate prize, however, and the British, commanded by Major General Augustin Prevost, were eager to retake that town. Following the resounding defeat at Brier Creek the Patriot strength on the Savannah rapidly waned. General Lincoln's army began a retreat towards Charleston, but not before a short engagement at Purysburg. The LAMAR Institute plans to research the Patriot headquarters at Purysburg, and the officers, enlisted men and militiamen who were garrisoned there. Archaeologists will apply systematic battlefield archaeology techniques to discover elements of the town and its battlefield. 






(February 5, 2014) 

LAMAR Institute at the 7th Biennial
Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts

LAMAR Institute President Daniel T. Elliott Invited to Speak

What do relatively poor, 18th century pietistic German Salzburgers have in common with expensive porcelain, elaborately carved furniture, beautiful textiles, and other decorative arts in Georgia? LAMAR Institute president Daniel Elliott was invited to speak to address this subject at "Connections: Georgia in the World", the 7th Biennial Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts, hosted by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens January 30-February 1, 2014.



Elliott discussed the coarse earthenware pottery of Salzburgers and other Alpine immigrants to New Ebenezer, Georgia. The majority of the pottery of New Ebenezer residents was plain and functional. Buff paste wares were often washed with yellow slip or glazed with a clear, brown, or green-tinted lead glaze. Vessel shapes included pots, saucers, pitchers, and bowls. The most common shape, however, was the cream pan that alluded to their history of dairying. Residents used this vessel form to make cream. They poured milk into the  broad, shallow bowl. When the cream slowly rose to the top of the bowl, it was poured out through a slight spout on the bowl's thick rim.




While the Ebenezer earthenwares bore little resemblance to the fancy silver pieces of Columbus, Georgia and Mexico, or to the expensive decorative wares used on tables of wealthy plantation homes as highlighted by other symposium speakers, they do represent a vernacular pottery type that functioned well among one group of Georgia's earliest European colonists. And in this case, the plain, utilitarian pots reflected the austere lifestyle of New Ebenezer residents, who were encouraged by their pastor to follow God rather than the pursuit of fanciful worldy goods.

The large symposium audience appeared to appreciate this "less decorative" art along with the many other topics explored by presenting scholars. These topics included a broad spectrum from historic maps and paintings to colonial indigo, historic ceramics, furnishings, designer scarves and dresses, Gullah Geechee material culture, Georgia textiles, and 18th century Jewish cultural items. The LAMAR Institute is pleased to have been a part of this symposium. We thank the Georgia Museum of Art, symposium organizers Dale L. Couch and Linda Chestnut, the many sponsors who made it possible, and the other presenters and attendees who provided interesting insights into the decorative past. 





(April 30, 2013)

Archaeologists Discover Revolutionary War Carr’s Fort on Georgia Frontier

Wilkes County, Georgia – Archaeologists with the LAMAR Institute discovered the location of Carr’s Fort, a significant frontier fortification that was attacked on February 10, 1779. The discovery was funded through grants from the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, and The LAMAR Institute. The month-long search by a team of six researchers encompassed more than 2,700 wooded acres of the Beaverdam Creek watershed. Battlefield archaeology at Carr’s Fort yielded about a dozen fired musket balls, several musket parts and several hundred iron and brass items from the 18th century.

Robert Carr was a Captain in the Georgia Patriot militia and by 1778 his frontier home became a fort for more than 100 soldiers. In late 1778, the British launched a campaign to reclaim the southern colonies, which included a major recruitment effort among the frontier settlers. On February 10, Carr’s Fort was occupied by 80 Loyalists (Tories) led by captains John Hamilton and Dougald Campbell. Almost immediately, 200 Georgia and South Carolina Patriot militia, who had been hot on the trail of the Loyalists, laid siege to the fort in an attempt to take it back. An intense fire fight raged for several hours, in which more than a dozen were killed or wounded on each side. Patriot forces, commanded by Colonel Andrew Pickens, were ordered to break off the siege after he received word of that larger party of 750 Loyalists advancing from the Carolinas. The Patriots rode off taking the Loyalist’s horses and baggage with them. The Loyalists marched several hundred miles back south to rejoin the main British invasion force. Several weeks later, Captain Carr was killed at his home by a raiding party of Loyalist Creek Indians, while his wife and children escaped.

“The search for Carr’s Fort was like looking for a needle in a haystack, only harder. We had no map and few descriptions of the fort, so its location was entirely unknown. Historians and land surveyors provided some clues to about a dozen potential target areas, which helped narrow the search. The LAMAR field team discovered Carr’s Fort on the last hour of the last day of the field project. Although our funds were depleted, I had no trouble convincing my crew to return with me to volunteer with me for another day or two to better establish the identity of the archaeological finds as Carr’s Fort”, stated Daniel Elliott, President of the LAMAR Institute. The archaeological team used metal detectors to systematically comb the woods for any evidence of the fort and battlefield. Each find was labeled and carefully plotted using GPS technology. More than a dozen 18th century settlements were located, but none of these proved to be the fort.

Wilkes County was a hot-bed of revolutionary fervor during the American Revolution. The discovery of the archaeological remains of Carr’s Fort indicates great potential that remnants of more than 30 other forts in Wilkes County may still exist. The identification of such resources can provide important new information on Georgia’s role in the American Revolution and how this international conflict affected remote frontier settlements.

Researching, locating, identifying, and interpreting fortifications and battlefields is one of The LAMAR Institute’s research focuses. This includes the Colonial, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War periods. Prior investigation of Revolutionary War sites has included the battle fields of Kettle Creek, New Ebenezer, Sansavilla Bluff, Savannah, and Sunbury. A complete report on the Carr’s Fort Battlefield project will be available to the public in early 2014.


Archaeologists Search for Carr's Fort

(January 7, 2013, Savannah, Georgia)

A team of archaeologists and historians from the LAMAR Institute have launched a search for an elusive Revolutionary War battlefield site in the hills of northeastern Georgia. The battle took place on February 10, 1779, when Captain Robert Carr's Fort was invaded by a group of about 70 loyalist recruits led by Colonel Jonathan Hamilton. Later that day, the fort was surrounded by Georgia and South Carolina militia, led by Colonel Andrew Pickens, who laid siege to the fortified loyalists. The siege of the fort lasted only a few hours before Pickens received word of a much larger party of Loyalist recruits who were advancing from South Carolina and he broke off the siege of Carr's Fort to pursue a bigger target. Thus began a chain of military events that culminated in the decisive Patriot victory at Kettle Creek, only a few miles from Carr's Fort. Several weeks later, Captain Carr was killed by a war party of loyalist Creek Indians, who burned down the fort.The institute received grant funds for the project from the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program and the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association.  The goal is to locate Captain Carr's Georgia militia fort and delineate the battle that surrounded it. Today the area is a serene mixture of woodlands, pasture and scattered farms. The battlefield search is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, as no contemporary maps showing its location, nor any detailed written descriptions of the location of Carr's Fort are known to exist. It could be anywhere in the Beaverdam Creek watershed of Wilkes County, Georgia, although historian Robert Scott Davis, Jr. has narrowed the potential search area considerably. A team of six archaeologists from the institute will comb more than 5,000 acres in Wilkes County with metal detectors as part of the search. Once potential targets have been located, the team will use other methods, including ground penetrating radar (GPR), traditional excavations and mapping to better define the battlefield site. Fieldwork begins in late January and last for about three weeks. Carr's Fort was one of more than 30 similar militia forts that dotted the Wilkes County frontier during the American Revolution. The project's leader, Daniel Elliott, notes that although the team may be unable to find its intended target, they have "several chances to win", as two other forts and numerous Revolutionary War-era farmsteads lie within the team's search area. Locating Carr's Fort will be a major find, as none of the 30 forts in Wilkes County have been discovered archaeologically. A full report on the undertaking will be available to the public in 2014. 




Camp Lawton Stockade Wall Confirmed
(October 6, 2012, Millen, Georgia)
On September 29, 2012, archaeo-geophysicist Daniel Elliott of the LAMAR Institute joined a team of researchers converging on the 1864 prison camp known as Camp Lawton. This prison, located in rural Jenkins County, Georgia, was slated to be the largest prison in the world, only to be abandoned a few weeks before the arrival of U.S. Army troops from the 20th Corps. The 2012 season of archaeological exploration at Camp Lawton is boosted by the arrival of PBS Time Team America. The project team, led by geophysicist Meg Watters, hoped to locate the walls of the prison and by all accounts the project was a rousing success. This work built on previous scholarship at the prison site, which included ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys in 2005 and 2009 and systematic metal detection surveys in 2010. The 2012 season included a cast of characters and archaeological toys that dazzled even the most hardened archaeologist. This included four teams collecting GPR data, one team surveying with a flux gate gradiometer, another surveying for electro-magnetics (EM), half a dozen metal detectorists, a backhoe, and several dozen archaeologists armed with shovels, screens and trowels. The flurry of activity lasted one week, ending on October 5th.  Three walls of the prison were identified and several areas occupied by Yankee prisoners and their Confederate guards were sampled. Now the tedious work begins in cleaning, analyzing, identifying, stabilizing and reporting on this massive undertaking. The PBS Time Team America episode at Camp Lawton will air sometime in 2014.

More Fort Hawkins Discoveries
(May 11, 2012, Macon, Georgia, Special Press Release by Marty Willett, Fort Hawkins Commission Press Officer & Project Coordinator)
Fort Hawkins continues its May celebration of Archaeology Month in Georgia after a successful dig last week at the early American frontier fort and factory.  The "Search For the Northwest Blockhouse" conducted by the LAMAR Institute helped kickoff the month long statewide celebration and determined the exact location of the fort's other blockhouse that blew over in December, 1880.  The preliminary results reflect that after the 1871 cleanup, the 1920's construction of the Fort Hawkins Grammar School, and finally the widening and paving of Woolfolk Street, all evidence of the blockhouse, save the very bottom of the palisade posts leading to the blockhouse wall, has been erased.  However, the research will allow the fort to be fully and accurately mapped now for the first time since it was constructed in 1806.

During the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British in the War of 1812, it is presumed the fort's plans and early records were destroyed because they do not exist today.  Since the Fort Hawkins Commission began its archaeological research with the help of the Peyton Anderson Foundation in 2005, more has been discovered about the fort than ever known before and why the Commission's web site is called "The Real Fort Hawkins."

The fort and the "Second War of Independence" are featured prominently on the Society for Georgia Archaeology's May 2012 Celebration poster.  On June 18, 2012 the Major Phillip Cook Chapter of the Daughters of the War of 1812 and the Commission will dedicate a War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration historic marker at the fort site.

Just completed at the fort site is the new protective covering over a  200 year old double brick fireplace hearth uncovered in the 2005 dig.  One of the many surprises unearthed then that documented a more significant and substantial Fort Hawkins than previously thought, the unique brick feature is now better preserved and shared in a new outdoor interpretive display at the fort.  The Macon Town Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia sponsored this important preservation project and its completion adds to the site's Archaeology Month Celebration.

Visitors to the fort this Saturday, May 12, 2012 will see more of the site's treasures uncovered as the Boy Scouts of America join the celebration.  Troop 10 of the Central Georgia Council BSA will aid one of their member's Eagle Scout project to reclaim and stabilize the 1930's WPA stone pool constructed when the Southeast Blockhouse Replica was built.  The scouts will be digging out the stone pool, screening for artifacts, and building a berm that will prevent future flooding.  Not only will this project improve the site's appearance, but also allow the feature to be fully restored by the Commission as they fully develop the fort site.  The site off Emery Highway in Macon is open every Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 - 4:00 pm with no admission charge.  For more information call or click 478-742-3003 or www.forthawkins.com.

Film Premiere at Fort Pulaski


(Savannah, Georgia, April 12, 2012)

On April 12, 2012 Fort Pulaski National Monument hosted the premiere of a short film by Michael Jordan entiled, "Stalling Sherman's Army: The Battle at Monteith Swamp." This short film documents a recent National Park Service-funded archaeological investigation conducted by the LAMAR Institute. The project unearthed new artifacts and information about this little-known battle outside Savannah. In December 1864, a small group of Confederate veterans and home guard gathered in eastern Effingham County to delay the inevitable approach of Union General William T. Sherman's left wing - part of Sherman's "March to the Sea." Though the outcome was certain before the first shot was fired, the Battle of Monteith Swamp was a trial by fire for men in blue and in gray. This event is one of many being offered as a part of the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Siege & Reduction of Fort Pulaski.

Savannah Explores Its Archaeology
(Savannah, Georgia, May 11, 2012)
 A  panel discussion on archaeology in Savannah and Chatham County, Georgia will be held on May 12th at 2:00 at Trinity Church on Telfair Square, Savannah, Georgia. Entitled, "Perspectives in Archaeology Digging for the Truth", the four discussants include: Dr. Pamela Cressey, archaeologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia; Neil Dawson, Dawson Architects; Richard Kanaski, Regional Archaeologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dr. Sue Moore, Professor of Anthorpology, Georgia Southern University. Michael Jordan will serve as moderator for the event. Partners in this project are Metropolitan Planning Commission, Chatham County Resource Protection Commission (primary hosts for the event), Trinity Church, Chatham County, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic District Board of Review, City of Savannah, the Chatham County Historic Preservation Commission, The LAMAR Institute and Coastal Heritage Society. This discussion will explore a variety of topics on archaeology in Savannah and Chatham County, including the current state of knowledge, need for an archaeological ordinance, and benefits of archaeology for the people of coastal Georgia. The LAMAR Institute is delighted to serve as a co-sponsor of a  reception that follows the archaeology discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Savannah's Underground Revolutionary War
(Savannah, Georgia, January 30, 2012) 

The American Revolution in Savannah, Georgia was the focus of archaeological excavations conducted from 2005-2011. The historical research and archaeological discoveries from this work are contained within three reports that are now available for free download. A related curriculum for 4th and 5th grade teachers is also available for download at no charge to anyone interested. The first project was funded by the Coastal Heritage Society, Savannah, Georgia. The National Park Service funded much of the later work, including two reports and the curriculum, through two American Battlefield Protection Program grants. All work was conducted under the auspices of the Curatorial Department of the Coastal Heritage Society (Savannah, Georgia) in partnership with The LAMAR Institute (Savannah, Georgia) and under the direction of Rita Folse Elliott. We invite you to download the reports and learn more about Savannah’s role in this pivotal American event. To obtain these reports, visit: http://thelamarinstitute.org.

Abby Arrives At Fort Hawkins

(Macon, Georgia, October 24, 2011) Abby the Archaeobus arrived at Fort Hawkins today for a special week at the 200 year old fort.  Abby is Georgia's Mobile Archaeological Classroom sponsored by the Society for Georgia Archaeology and arrives after a successful visit to the Georgia National Fair and the SGA Fall Conference.  However, this is Abby's very first visit to an archaeological dig and her visit provides an even more educational opportunity while the fort's archaeological dig being done by The LAMAR Institute is in progress.  Abby makes learning about archaeology fun with colorful and interactive exhibits that all relate to the ongoing archaeological research being done for the Fort Hawkins Commission at the historic site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Abby invites everyone to come visit during this next week at Fort Hawkins for a unique educational experience - archaeology as real living history!  The fort site will be open each day from October 24 to October 31 until 4:00 p.m. with no admission charge.  During the week days while the dig team continues its research, the public is invited to come view their work and now visit Abby too!  The Commission has had the historic site open each weekend since March and during this month visitors have enjoyed touring the dig site and now visit Abby too!  On the final day of the dig, Monday, October 31, there will be a Press Conference at 3:00 p.m. at Fort Hawkins to share some of the amazing dig discoveries and to view the actual excavations, and of course to visit Abby too! At 5:00 p.m. on October 31 the first Fort Hawkins Halloween Hauntings will begin and the biggest treat at this free, fun, family event will be, of course, to visit Abby!  Abby keeps a blog about her adventures across the state on the SGA website, so let's make her feel at home here in the Heart of Georgia and come visit during this rare and special appearance!  Please call for group visits or more information 478-742-3003 and visit www.forthawkins.com.


Archaeologists Unveil Revolutionary War Findings;

Seek Public Input for Savannah Plan


(Savannah, Georgia, January 15).---What ever happened to all that Revolutionary War archaeology being done in Savannah? What did archaeologists discover? How can people who live, work, and play in Savannah and Chatham County become involved with archaeological sites? Can preserving sites help the area's economy and quality of life? Come to an archaeology presentation and public meeting Feb. 1, 2011 to find out and to offer suggestions. Coastal Heritage Society will reveal Revolutionary War discoveries in Savannah stemming from the two “Savannah Under Fire” projects conducted from 2007-2011. The projects uncovered startling discoveries, including trenches, fortifications, and battle debris.  The research also showed that residents and tourists are interested in these sites. Archaeologists will describe the findings and explore ways to generate economic income and increase the quality of life of area residents. Following the presentation the public will be invited to offer comments and suggestions about such resources. Don't miss this rare opportunity to provide input. The meeting is sponsored by the Coastal Heritage Society, through a grant from the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. It is free and open to the public. Time: 6-7 p.m. Location: Savannah History Museum auditorium, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah, Georgia (same building as the Visitors' Center on MLK). Meeting Date: Feb. 1, 2011.




LAMAR Institute Aids in Discovery of Confederate Prison Near Millen



(MILLEN, GA., July 31)  The LAMAR Institute, Inc. participated in a search for Camp Lawton, a military prison built north of Millen, Georgia by the Confederates in late 1864 to house more than 30,000 U.S. Army prisoners.  The search for the prison began in December, 2009 with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey for the southwestern corner of the prison stockade at Magnolia Springs State Park.  After getting a feel of the topography and the likely layout of the prison site as generally conceived, some discrepancy in the only available historical maps became evident to the research team.  The two maps available for reference seemed less accurate than previously thought.  A minimally-invasive evaluation was performed with a metal detector.  This tool, augmented along with GPR data, was used to get a feel of whatever prison "footprint" might still be present.   Promising areas were immediately identified.  One particular area, however, clearly stood out as likely being inside the prison and possibly adjacent to a stockade wall boundary,   The discoveries were made south of a small creek documented as running directly through the prison yard.  Armed with this new evidence, a quick reassessment of the prison layout was theorized.  The long held belief, that the larger portion of the prison site was now the location of the Bo Ginn Aquarium facility  and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services fish hatchery, came in question.  An unexplored wooded area just west of this facility was now suspected to contain a portion of the Civil War prison.   A quick reconnaissance of the wooded tract was made.  Our crew believed that this property  was within the Magnolia Springs State Park property.  This particular tract had changed hands several times in recent years and was currently Federally-owned property under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  As it turned out, this misunderstanding  yielded  huge dividends in unmasking the ruins of Camp Lawton,  After a very limited and quick evaluation by Georgia Southern University  (GSU) anthropologists, the true site of the  prison was confirmed.  The brick ruins of a documented brick oven complex built fot the use of the prison., was tentatively identified.  If this is indeed  one of the brick ovens, and the placement of this feature on historical maps was accurate,  then the location of the prison shifts further to the west of what was previously theorized.   Further testing by GSU confirmed that this was the correct prison site location.  Camp Lawton, once thought to be an insignificant Civil War site in our state, now appears to offer a great opportunity for understanding the daily life of Prisoners of War during the War Between the States.  

GPR Plan View of Camp Lawton Stockade Wall (The LAMAR Institute 2009).


GPR Plan View of Camp Lawton Stockade Wall (The LAMAR Institute 2009).



Civil War artifacts from Camp Lawton prison, Georgia.


Civil War Artifacts from Camp Lawton Prison, Georgia (Photograph by Daniel Battle, The LAMAR Institute).


Millen Prison (Illustration from Harpers Weekly).


Millen Prison (Illustration from Harpers Weekly).




Monteith Swamp Battlefield Receives $40,000 Grant

National Park Service supports preservation efforts

WASHINGTON (July 7, 2010)– The LAMAR Institute, Inc. has received a grant of $40,000 from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to complete the first archeological survey and investigation of the Battle of Monteith Swamp site in Georgia.

“We are proud to support projects like this that safeguard and preserve American battlefields,” said Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “These places are symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage that we must protect so that this and future generations can understand the struggles that define us as a nation.”

This grant is one of 25 National Park Service grants totaling $1,246,273 to preserve and protect significant battle sites from all wars fought on American soil. Funded projects preserve battlefields from the Colonial-Indian Wars through World War II and include site mapping (GPS/GIS data collection), archeological studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, preservation and management plans. Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for National Park Service battlefield grants which are awarded annually. Since 1996 more than $12 million has been awarded by ABPP to help preserve significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil.

Additional information is online at www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp. To find out more about how the National Park Service helps communities with historic preservation and recreation projects please visit www.nps.gov/communities.


Monteith Swamp, Chatham County, Georgia 2010



Rita Folse Elliott Recipient of Georgia Humanities Medal


(ATLANTA, Georgia, May 11, 2010)   On May 11, 2010 Rita Folse Elliott was given an award for her service in the humanities by Governor Sonny Perdue in Atlanta, Georgia. The 25th Georgia Humanities Council’s Governor’s awards recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations working to increase understanding and appreciation of the humanities.

Rita Elliott, an active archeologist with the Coastal Heritage Society and The LAMAR Institute in Savannah, has devoted her life to educating the public, especially children, about the rich, fascinating history and prehistory of Georgia as told through archaeology. Rita has been a tireless proponent of the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) for almost 20 years, spearheading the revitalization of the group in the 1990s.

The award recognizes Rita’s career of archeological research and her numerous, varied and creative contributions to public education, much of which was done through SGA. The award was prompted by the successful launching of her most ambitious project to date, the ArchaeoBus.

Rita Elliott and Scott Smith at Awards Banquet

Shown above: Scott Smith, Director of Coastal Heritage Society with Rita Folse Elliott, May 11, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia.

LAMAR Institute Launches Revamped Website

On March 15, 2009 The LAMAR Institute unveiled its revamped website at http://shapiro.anthro.uga.edu/Lamar/. The website's makeover used the Joomla platform to make a more useful source for information about archaeology and history in the Southeastern United States. The new website also contains new content, including another dozen archaeological reports, which are available for free download as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files.






May, 2008

Who: Thomas H. Gresham, President, Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc.; Secretary-Treasurer, The LAMAR Institute.

What: Joseph Ralston Caldwell Award, an honor bestowed by the Society for Georgia Archaeology on noteworthy archaeologists in Georgia

When: May, 2008

Where: Fernbank Natural History Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

Why: Thomas H. Gresham was given this honor because of her outstanding achievements in Georgia archaeology.

How: The Society for Georgia Archaeology has awarded the Joseph Ralston Caldwell Award to only five people since its inception in 1990. Previous recipients of the award were George S. Lewis, Frankie Snow, David Chase, Elizabeth "Betsy" Shirk, and Rita Folse Elliott.

Atlanta, Georgia, May, 2008 -

At this year’s spring meeting of The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA), Thomas H. Gresham was presented the Joseph R. Caldwell Award for outstanding service to Georgia Archaeology. The Caldwell Award recognizes those individuals dedicating a noteworthy amount of time and energy toward supporting an archaeological project; making outstanding contributions in the area of public education and Georgia archeology; and providing substantial support for SGA and its programs over time.


Mr. Gresham has been dedicated to preserving the history and prehistory of Georgia and making that information available to the public, often by donating his time and expertise, often behind the scenes, for the past thirty years. As a principal in Southeastern Archeological Services cultural resource management firm, Tom has performed archaeological investigations in an ethical and professional manner, resulting in the identification and protection of hundreds of sites in Georgia. He has also pursued research interests such as his investigation of historic rock piles and aided in interpretation of these sites. An Eagle Scout, he has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America in investigations around Clark Hill Reservoir as well as made numerous presentations to school groups, library groups, and others to raise awareness of Georgia’s archaeological resources. He is past President of the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists, long time officer and board member of the LAMAR Institute and President of the Oglethorpe County Historical Society. Tom has worked for the protection of human burials and was on the committee that drafted Georgia’s burial law, OGA 36-72. In addition, as a governor-appointed member of the Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns since its inception, Tom has provided archaeological expertise in dealing with burial issues brought before the Council as well as assisted in producing information to explain the laws and landowner rights to the public and developers. He has devoted innumerable volunteer hours as an active member of SGA. He is currently serving his second term as Secretary of SGA, having served a 4-year term as board member prior to taking this office and for five years prior to that as Profile editor. During his term as board member, he was instrumental in preparation of the application for 501(c)3 status as well as providing the solution for a permanent address for the organization. As Secretary he has continued to manage the member database, coordinate new member services, and provide support for Early Georgia distribution. Notably, he was the mover and shaker behind the recent acquisition of the Athens Clarke County regional library’s retired bookmobile for refitting as SGA’s archaeology mobile.

The award reflects the many contributions of Joseph Ralston Caldwell, whose archaeological fieldwork in Georgia and work in the Southeastern U.S. began at the Works Progress Administration excavations near Savannah during the late Depression. Professor Caldwell taught Anthropology at the University of Georgia from 1967 until his death in 1973. The first Caldwell Award was presented in 1990 to long-time SGA member George S. Lewis, followed by Frankie Snow in 1992, Jim Langford in 1993, David Chase in 2000, Betsy Shirk in 2004, and Rita Elliott in 2007.




May 19, 2007

Who: Rita Folse Elliott, Curator of Exhibits and Archaeology, Coastal Heritage Society [Savannah, GA] and Education Coordinator, The LAMAR Institute.

What: Joseph Ralston Caldwell Award, an honor bestowed by the Society for Georgia Archaeology on noteworthy archaeologists in Georgia

When: May 19, 2007

Where: Fort Hawkins Archaeological Park, Fort Hill and Woolfolk Streets, Macon, Bibb County, Georgia

Why: Rita Folse Elliott was given this honor because of her outstanding achievements in Georgia archaeology since her first arrival in 1985.

How: The Society for Georgia Archaeology has awarded the Joseph Ralston Caldwell Award to only five people since its inception in 1990. Previous recipients of the award were George S. Lewis, Frankie Snow, David Chase, and Elizabeth "Betsy" Shirk.

Macon, GA - May 19, 2007 - At the spring meeting of The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA), Rita F. Elliott was presented the Joseph R. Caldwell Award for outstanding service to Georgia Archaeology. During the presentation, it was noted that the Board of Directors voted unanimously to bestow this award to Ms. Elliott.

The Caldwell Award recognizes those individuals dedicating a noteworthy amount of time and energy toward supporting an archaeological project; making outstanding contributions in the area of public education and Georgia archeology; and providing substantial support for SGA and its programs over time. Ms. Elliott, Curator of Exhibits and Archaeology at the Coastal Heritage Society, has been active in SGA for almost two decades. During her tenure as Vice-President, she initiated a revitalization of SGA that resulted in the adoption of the current mission statement and strategy. As President, Ms. Elliott oversaw a number of accomplishments including creation of the George Lewis Archaeology Stewardship Award and Science Fair Award for Archaeology for high school and middle school students, and establishment of the endowment fund. In addition, she contributed to public education through SGA outreach and education as well as through the LAMAR Institute. Included were Elderhostel programs, workshops at the state social studies conference, development of a teaching trunk, and preparation of lesson plans to complement the annual Archaeology Month promotions. Ms. Elliott, along with her archaeologist husband, Daniel Elliott, has for the past two decades investigated the archaeological site of New Ebenezer in Effingham County. She designed and constructed an exhibit on the archaeology of the site that is located in the Salzburger Museum and has worked with the owners of the site to find funding for excavations as well as volunteered her time to promote archaeology at the site. According to Betsy Shirk, who presented the award on behalf of SGA, "Ms. Elliott is the perfect candidate for the Caldwell Award - those SGA board members of the early 1990s had they been able to see into the future could not have created an award that would better characterize the contributions of Ms. Elliott to SGA and Georgia archaeology."

The award, last presented in 2004 to Betsy Shirk, reflects the many contributions of Joseph Ralston Caldwell, whose archaeological fieldwork in Georgia and work in the Southeastern U.S. began at the Works Progress Administration excavations near Savannah during the late Depression. He served as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Georgia from 1967 until his death in 1973. The first Caldwell Award was presented in 1990 to long-time SGA member George S. Lewis in recognition of numerous exemplary contributions he made to Georgia archaeology.

The Society for Georgia Archaeology is a non-profit organization composed of avocational and professional archaeologists, and interested members of the general public. Its purpose is to preserve, study and interpret Georgia's historic and prehistoric archaeological sites. Concerned citizens can take an active role in preserving our collective archaeological heritage by becoming a member of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. For more information about The Society for Georgia Archaeology, see www.thesga.org .








Who: Archaeological team from the LAMAR Institute launches study of Fort Hawkins 

What:Fort Hawkins, the primary U.S. Army headquarters in the South after 1805 

When: Fort Hawkins, 1806-1828; the archaeological project began in August 2005 

Where: Fort Hill and Woolfolk Streets, Macon, Bibb County, Georgia 

Why: The Fort Hawkins Commission plans to rebuild Fort Hawkins on its original site and archaeological study is needed 

How: Archaeologists are employing large scale excavation techniques to uncover the fort and learn about the lives of its inhabitants. 


Macon, Georgia, November 7, 2005-- Fort Hawkins was a U.S. Army post established in 1806 and it lasted into the mid-1820s. The fort also served as the primary "Factory" for the Indian trade between. The fort had a permanent garrison of more than 200 Infantrymen and at times its population swelled to more than 2,000. The fort was used in the War of 1812 and the 1st Seminole War (1817-1818). 

Preliminary mapping of the fort has been completed and historical research is currently underway. Archaeologists begin extensive excavations of Fort Hawkins on November 9, 2005. The public is invited to visit the excavations beginning on Saturday November 12th. Tours of the excavations will be offered daily from November 12-23 at 10AM and 2PM. School groups are encouraged but teachers should contact Mr. Elliott in advance. A second phase of excavation at Fort Hawkins is planned for June 2006.  A completion date of October 2006 is set for the archaeological work, which coincides with the 200th anniversary of the fort's founding. 

The Lamar Institute is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization registered in Box Springs, Georgia to promote research and public education on archaeology in the Southeastern United States. The Fort Hawkins project is part of the institute's Pre-Civil War Forts Initiative, which seeks to locate and explore military sites in Georgia dating prior to 1861. The project is funded by grant monies raised by the City of Macon's Fort Hawkins Commission. Assistance is also provided by the Society for Georgia Archaeology.  To learn more about this project, visit this web address: http://lamarinstitute.org/Fort Hawkins Project.htm . 


Excavations on the South Side of Fort Hawkins, 2005. For high resolution version of this image, click HERE. 

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Elliott Receives 2005 Georgia Preservation Achievement Award

May 13, Atlanta, Georgia

LAMAR Institute President Daniel T. Elliott was recognized today by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for his outstanding contributions to archaeology in Georgia. Elliott was among six historic preservationists whe received the Historic Preservation Division's Presevation Achievement Award at a ceremony in the 9th Annual presentation at Atlanta, Georgia.Dr. David Crass, Georgia's State Archaeologist, said, "Dan's field research from the Flint River Basin Archaeological Survey has resulted in the discovery of over 500 new archaeological sites in southwest Georgia, many of them in counties where we knew of no sites prior to the study". Elliott, a Georgia native, has been active in Georgia archaeology since 1977.

Daniel T Elliott and HPD Director W Ray Luce


9th Annual Historic Preservation Achievement Award



Who: Archaeological team from the LAMAR Institute searches for Mary Musgrove's main trading post

What: Fort Mount Venture, a 1730-1740s Georgia Ranger fort and trading post

When: Mount Venture, 1736-1742

Where: Sansavilla Bluff, Altamaha River, Wayne County, Georgia

Why: The Mount Venture massacre at Sansavilla Bluff marks a major event in Georgia's colonial history.

How: Archaeologists are employing multiple research tools to locate the fort and massacre site, including historical research, geographic information systems (GIS), ground penetrating radar (GPS), metal detectors, as well as more traditional shovel test grids and small excavations.

Jesup, Georgia, September 13, 2004-- On a quiet fall day in 1742 violence erupted at a lonely military outpost on Georgia’s western perimeter. Spanish-allied Yamassee warriors unleashed a surprise attack on the Georgia Rangers' Fort Mount Venture on the Altamaha River.

The Yamassee killed virtually everyone in the fort, except for a few British-allied Creek Indians whom they took hostage. Mary Musgrove Mathews, "Queen" of the Creek Nation, narrowly escaped death on that day.  Mary used Fort Mount Venture as her main trading post, and was in Savannah when the raid occurred.

The LAMAR Institute launched a search for Mount Venture in 2003 on the forest lands of Plum Creek Timber Company, and their archaeologists are narrowing the field of possible locations for the fort. In the process,the research team has identified several other important 18th century sites. One of these is the likely location of a 1790s fort, possibly that garrisoned by Captain Armstrong's Company of Glynn County Dragoons. Support for the project comes from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program, the Plum Creek Foundation, and Plum Creek Timber Company. The archaeological discoveries at Mount Venture highlight an important part of Plum Creek's Sustainable Forestry Initiative program to manage these historically significant sites in an economic and socially responsible manner.

Daniel Elliott, lead archaeologist of the expedition, stated, "This was one of Georgia's most exciting colonial outposts! In 1741 Fort Mount Venture was Georgia's first point of defense against attacks from Spanish Florida." Events in that war helped to define the very shape of United States' geography. The massacre at Mount Venture was the greatest conquest in Georgia by the Spanish. This Spanish victory demonstrated to General Oglethorpe just how vulnerable Georgia was from guerrilla attacks. We are on the threshold of discovery!"

The Lamar Institute is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization registered in Box Springs, Georgia to promote research and public education on archaeology in the Southeastern United States. The Sansavilla Bluff project is part of the Institute's Pre-Civil War Forts Initiative, which seeks to locate and explore military sites in Georgia dating prior to 1861. The Sansavilla Bluff project was funded by research grants from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program and the Plum Creek Foundation, Seattle, Washington. Other LAMAR Institute projects associated with fortified sites and led by Mr. Elliott include the discovery and exploration of Forts Abercorn, Ebenezer, and Mount Pleasant on the Savannah River, Fort Argyle on the Ogeechee River, and Fort Morris and the town of Sunbury, on the Medway River. The LAMAR Institute's full research report on the work done at Sansavilla Bluff is available for free download in pdf format at this web address: http://lamarinstitute.org/reports.htm .

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Online fundraising for Georgia Revolutionary War Research Fund