A side effect of the "improvements to State Route 204 /Abercorn Extension and the King George Boulevard interchange" is that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are sponsoring an archeological excavation "relevant to the area of the expansion project," according to a spokesman.
New South Associates of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is conducting Phase III archaeological excavation at the Abercorn Archaeology site. Rita Elliott, Public Archaeologist for the project noted, "It is fortunate that DOT has a project in this area, as that entity takes seriously its archaeological obligations here, ensuring that the information from the site is saved to benefit the public now and also future generations who will study, re-interpret, and learn from it."
Excavation and studies began in February and are expected to be completed at the end of May.
This archeological site could contain a large amount of historical materials and clues to the history of Chatham County citizens lifestyles dating from the 1790s-1860s. Due to the preliminary studies it is believed that there could be remnants of plantation sites, as well as Civil War artifacts due to a portion of a Civil War camp occupied by Union soldiers during General William Sherman's March to the Sea.
Pamela Baughman, archaeologist with Georgia DOT’s Office of Environmental Services, overseeing this site for the department stated, “The site has a lot to contribute to archaeology regarding our understanding of plantation and Civil War history in the Savannah area. The live oak tree is a recognized part of this historic property and is a unique participant, in that it has watched over the evolution of this cultural landscape for nearly 400 years. We have asked the designers, project managers and even the archaeologists while they are digging, to preserve it so that it can observe the evolution of the landscape yet to come.”
Free guided tours started this week and continue through May 11 on Tuesday through Saturday at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Check out this project on Facebook.