(Picture above depicts Stephen Hammack on an Archaeological Site in Middle Georgia.)_
Click on the below site to show Stephen and the OAS doing site work in Hawkinsville, Ga on the Ocmulgee River.
Then click on to view the program, which is about 26 minutes in length.
Archaeology in Middle Georgia?
By Aubrey Hammock
A few years ago, it was rare to hear the word “archaeology” mentioned in casual conversations in Middle Georgia unless one was visiting the Indian Mounds at Ocmulgee National Monument. If you did hear it, it was probably only from discussions of the Indiana Jones movies starring Harrison Ford, and not about local happenings. That has changed in the past few years, and suddenly Middle Georgians are hearing more and more about Clovis points, the Late Archaic period, and Fort Hawkins.
The organization of the Ocmulgee Archaeological Society (OAS) by my son Stephen, 35, has had a lot to do with this. When he returned home from graduate school at East Carolina University, where he studied Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology, Stephen looked around for a local archaeology club to join. Upon finding that the last one had been defunct for several years, he began organizing a local group as a chapter of the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA), a group devoted to education and the scientific excavation of sites. The OAS started with a core group of about 5 local SGA members in 2003 to 18 members in 2006, monthly archaeological talks by experts from around the southeast, and events held all over the mid-state.
The OAS has coordinated with volunteer divers from across Georgia on several dives beneath the murky waters of the Ocmulgee River in search a greater understanding of Macon’s maritime history as an inland cotton port. These dives have been coordinated with the Office of the State Archaeologist and NewTown Macon. Another popular OAS initiative has been the numerous Artifact Identification Days held in Macon for the last couple of years. Stephen enlisted the help of prehistoric artifact experts John Whatley, author of An Overview of Georgia Projectile Points and Selected Cutting Tools (available from the SGA’s website – www.thesga.org) and Frankie Snow, the state Indian pottery expert, for these events. More Artifact ID Days are being planned for the near future in nearby counties, and will be put on in coordination with the local historical societies. These include events in Vienna (Dooly County), Thomaston (Upson County), and Indian Springs (Butts County).
On top of all the other archaeology in Middle Georgia recently, the City of Macon contracted with the Lamar Institute (LI) to perform archaeological investigations at the Fort Hawkins site in East Macon in 2005. Dan Elliot, LI President, other archaeologists, and many OAS and SGA volunteers have recovered thousands of artifacts and other valuable information that has forever altered our knowledge of the 1806-1819 frontier fort that once served as the headquarters for the U.S. Army’s Southern Command.
Stephen is currently the only professional archaeologist employed in Middle Georgia, and is the on-site contracting archaeologist at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. As part of his work there he investigates and helps to manage 57 prehistoric and historic sites and gives talks on archaeology and its importance to Georgians around the state. He and his wife Donna, of Hazel Green, Alabama, and their two boys, James, 5, and Thomas, 4, and two dogs and three cats enjoy the country life in western Bibb County on what was once part of an antebellum farm and is now – you guessed it – an archaeological site.
Click on the link below for the Ocmulgee Watershed Project that shows Stephen with the OAS in Hawkinsville doing site work.