Underwater Archaeology

Contact
Chris McCabe, deputy state archaeologist - underwater
chris.mccabe@dnr.state.ga.us  phone 912-598-3346
Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, Underwater Archaeology; 10 Ocean Science Circle; Savannah, GA 31411
 
Frequently Asked Questions

Shipwrecks
Ossabaw Island’s Maritime Legacy - June 2014
Savannah River Stories - April 2013
The Wreck of the Steamboat Asher Ayres - September 2012
Mining the Chestatee: Investigations of a Sunken 19th Century Gold Barge - January 2012
The Georgia Statewide Shipwreck Inventory - March 2011
A Voyage to Queen Anne's Revenge (North Carolina) - December 2010
The Cabretta Inlet shipwreck - March 2010
The Driftwood Beach Shipwreck
- May 2009
Back River Wreck - April 2008


The remains of the CSS Nashville/Rattlesnake lie on the bottom of the Ogeechee River near Ft. McAllister State Historic Site in Richmond Hill, Georgia.  Nashville's history as a Confederate commerce raider and later as a blockade runner make her one of Georgia's most important shipwrecks.


The CSS Georgia was a Confederate ironclad built in Savannah, Georgia.  Anchored in the Savannah River about 3 miles below the city, she served as a floating battery and was instrumental in keeping Union forces from attempting to take the city by sea.  Her crew scuttled the ship when General Sherman's army reached Savannah at the end of its famous March to the Sea.  Images from the US Navy are available online.

Field Briefs
Underwater Surveys in Full Swing - November 2013
A New Port for the Historic Schooner Roseway - December 2012
Archaeologists Wrap Up Survey of Sunbury’s Colonial Waterfront - May 2012
More to the Story: Artifacts Help Tell Tales - October 2010
Artifacts on the Move - August 2010
Georgia Coast Archaeological Erosion Study is underway - December 2009
"A Grand Curiosity" by the Chestatee River - October 2009
Joint research cruise aboard R/V Savannah - June/July 2009
Savannah River Walking Beam - October 2008

Surveys
Surveying St. Catherines Sound - August 2009

Ogeechee River Underwater Archaeology Survey website was created by Panamerican Consultants, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee in support of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program.

Flint River Basin Archaeological Survey - Southwest Georgia and the lower Flint River Basin is one of the most pristine watersheds in the Southeast, but it is also one of the least known archaeological regions of Georgia.  In 2006, The LAMAR Institute, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to conduct archaeological research and related public education projects, searched for archaeological sites in fourteen counties, including: Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas and Worth.  LAMAR is documenting sites by recording locations on maps, taking digital pictures of artifacts/collections and completing archaeological site forms.  This information will be retained at the Georgia Archaeological Site File in Athens, Georgia, where it remains confidential and protected.

Georgia Laws and Regulations
Department of Natural Resources Rules and Regulations: 12-3-80 Submerged Cultural Resources 

Publications
Threatened Archaeological Resource Assessment Using GIS - February 2008
- The Archaeological Services Unit recently completed a joint project with the Georgia Southern University Applied Coastal Research Laboratory at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The study, which was funded by a grant by the Georgia Coastal Zone Management Program, examined a sample of archaeological sites on Georgia's barrier islands with respect to natural erosion, and projected the results of those erosive processes forward in time. This pilot study examined sites in a variety of topographic settings. Planning is currently underway for a follow-up investigation of archaeological sites located on back-barrier islands commonly known as hammocks.

Georgia's Inland Waters - August 2003

Findings and Recommendations of the Underwater Archaeology Study Council - December 2002

Stemming the Tide: A Survey of Submerged Cultural Resources Programs in the United States With a View Toward Georgia - 2000

External links
Visit the ruins of Petersburg, Georgia at Bobby Brown State Park and learn more about this chapter of Georgia's history.  Petersburg: A Submerged Town in Georgia - Archaeologist Rita Folse Elliott conducted one of the early investigations of Georgia's submerged past at the frontier town of Petersburg.  This multidisciplinary investigation of the submerged ruins of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century tobacco river port was the first comprehensive study combining underwater archaeology, economics, geography and oral history. 

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology offers a sport diver training program in South Carolina.

The Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society is the largest avocational (amateur) underwater archaeology training organization in America.

The West Georgia Underwater Archaeology (WGUAS) is the first group of avocational (amateur) underwater archaeology sport divers in the State of Georgia. With the support of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources WGUAS has documented underwater remains in the Chattahoochee River near West Point, Georgia since 2002.

Learn about the North Georgia Underwater Archaeology Society and their work in the Rome and Cartersville area of Northwest Georgia. Get involved in recording Georgia's submerged cultural heritage in the Coosa, Etowah and Oostanaula River's.

The Ocmulgee Archaeology Society, a chapter of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, is currently expanding their role in central Georgia to encompass underwater archaeology projects.