Our DNR service responsibilities are set out in Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.)12-3-53 et seq. and O.C.G.A. 12-3-80 et seq. Our primary duty is to carry out surveys of DNR-administered lands. We conduct between fifty and seventy-five such reconnaissance-level surveys each year across the state.
However, we don't stop there. We have used our surveys to develop close relationships with our Parks and Historic Sites Division and Wildlife Resources Division that have created other opportunities. For instance, our archaeology workshops offer an opportunity for personnel from other divisions to learn about what we do by participating in an actual field survey. These workshops have proven to be enormously popular and are an effective means of educating our DNR partners through a combination of field and classroom activities.
Our DNR service extends to interpretive assistance; for instance, we routinely work with our Parks and Historic Sites Division to establish baseline information for programming. A highlight of our year is participation in Weekend for Wildlife (WFW), and annual event (in February) hosted by the Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program at the Cloister resort on Sea Island. Weekend for Wildlife mixes adventure excursions to Georgia's wild barrier islands with a spectacular auction and banquet to create the ideal getaway for concerned wildlife enthusiasts. The event has raised millions of dollars for DNR management projects. Registration for this unique event opens in October. As our contribution to WFW, the Archaeological Services Unit helps lead an archaeology and history tour of Sapelo Island.
A Weekend for Wildlife tour group enjoys the Sapelo Lighthouse.
Research on DNR-managed Lands
HPD's Archaeology Section receives many requests from graduate students, professors, and others wishing to conduct research on DNR-managed lands.
Usually these archaeological sites are not under any threat and hence do not require mitigation. However, it is DNR's policy to encourage research that is minimally-destructive, answers pertinent research questions, and yields information useful for interpretation and management purposes.
Under Code Section 12-3-52 the State Archaeologist is responsible for permitting or entering into contractual agreements with recognized scientific institutions or qualified individuals to conduct research on state owned or managed lands. To better promote the preservation of Georgia’s archaeological and historic resources, the Office of the State Archaeologist on behalf of the State of Georgia, reserves the right to retain ownership of all data derived from state owned or managed lands as well as products produced from such data. Individuals may be allowed to retain the rights to the data when those individuals are exceptionally well-qualified, have a track record of peer-reviewed publications and grants related to the research in question, and/or have an established history of research on State owned or managed lands. Individuals allowed to retain ownership rights must grant the State a license to use the data.
Please read the following documents carefully, and then contact the State Archaeologist with any questions.
DNR manages some of the premier archaeological sites in the southeast. The only way to efficiently interpret and manage those sites is through carefully controlled and limited investigations.
However, our internal resources to enable us to investigate those sites is limited. Further, there are certain types of projects that require expertise outside of what our staff members command. Thus, we work proactively with universities and other entities to carry out mission-critical research on archaeological resources. Some of our most recent sponsored research projects include:
This initiative has evolved into a larger survey project, co-sponsored by the National Park Service Long Distance Trails Office. Working with historian Dr. Sarah Hill, we are attempting to locate the Cherokee Removal forts, temporary encampments where tribal members were held briefly before assembling in larger groups that walked the Trail of Tears. We anticipate completion of this project in late 2004/early 2005.
A more recent sponsored research project was a shovel test survey of Nacoochee Mound, carried out in a partnership with the University of Georgia. Working under the direction of Dr. Mark Williams, Director of the Georgia Archaeological Site File, we helped field school students test the extent and depth of the village midden associated with this outstanding mound site, which is now under the protection of Georgia DNR.
Who to contact?
Jennifer Weber, Staff Archaeologist - WRD
Aimee Bouzigard, Staff Archaeologist - SPHS