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Society for Georgia Archaeology, Public Outreach

February 8, 2010

A few weeks ago I posted about the Louisiana Division of Archaeology website and the wealth of online information they offer.  Louisiana is not unique in their breadth of offerings.  I find that in most states, their respective archaeological organizations provide an increasing amount of on-line information to the public.  Most state sites offer schedules of upcoming events, brochures and information about major sites and museums in the area, along with a listing of the programs and services available through the agency.  Also, these state archaeological agencies usually each contribute some unique online resource to the public.  In Louisiana, the unique offerings included their excellent mound trail driving brochure and teacher guides.

The Society for Georgia Archaeology website follows a similar trend.  In addition to including many of the offerings common to archaeological  agencies in other states, Georgia also provides several unique offerings.  One of the most unique is information about the their archaeobus that takes archaeology to the public throughout Georgia.  Rita Elliott, Curator of Exhibits and Archaeology at the Coastal Heritage Society in Georgia gave an excellent presentation on the archaeobus at the 2009 Southeastern Archaeological Conference in Mobile, Alabama.  The archaeobus is a transformed Bookmobile retired from a county regional library.  The archaeobus web link documents the transformation process, including the expense involved, and evaluates the initial phase of the project.

The SGA website also has detailed lesson plans for download and use in the classroom.  Topics include the Mississippian mound complex at Etowah and the Removal of Native Americans from Georgia to Oklahoma in the 1800s.  The SGA website also provides links to other institution’s lesson plans such as at Springfield, the Free African-American Community founded around the time of the Revolutionary War.

The SGA website also contains the 128 page Archaeology in the Classroom: For Teachers by Teachers available free for download.

My favorite unique contribution on the SGA website is the Weekly Ponder column.  Now in its second year, the column provides updates on archaeological site excavations, preservation issues, discusses the veracity of historic documents, and current trends in archaeology, to name but a few of the topics covered.

The SGA site has links to volunteer opportunities, guides for preserving historic cemeteries, book reviews, summaries of the prehistoric periods in Georgia, Science Fair information, links for kids, along with the typical information found on most state archaeology websites.

The Society for Georgia Archaeology website is well-maintained and regularly updated – I found no broken links or pages that were months out of date.  The SGA website is an excellent “one-stop-shopping” site for bringing archaeology to the public in Georgia.  The website would benefit from inclusion, or at least linking to, descendent voices, principally of the Native American communities.

Do you have a favorite website that brings archaeology and museums to the public?

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