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Threatened Archaeological, Historic and Cultural Resources of the Georgia Coast: Identification, Prioritization and Management using GIS Technology, Phase II


Investigators: Clark Alexander (SKIO, ACRL), Claudia Venherm (SKIO), Chris McCabe (DNR-HPD), Mike Robinson (SKIO), Naomy Perez-Sanchez (SKIO), and David Cross (DNR-HPD). SKIO = University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, ACRL = Applied Coastal Research Lab at Georgia Southern University, DNR-HPD = Georgia Department of Natural Resources - Historical Preservation Division.

Support: GA DNR Coastal Management Program (through a Coastal Incentive Grant)

Timeframe: 2008- 2010

Project Objectives:
This project used historic GIS data, imagery, and field-based data to generate new coastal erosion data on the major barrier islands of Georgia in order to identify archaeological sites that are threatened and/or are being damaged by coastal erosion. The study also evaluated site condition and National Register of Historic Places status, prioritized the immediacy of the erosive threat, and made management recommendations.

Findings:
From the original selection of 63 sites where field data were collected, 48 sites were eroding, 10 were stable and five were accretionary. The eroding sites were then examined to determine which were most vulnerable to loss. At the time of this report, nine of the erosional sites had already completely eroded away and four of the erosional sites were partially submerged in the intertidal zone.

Within the group of erosional sites that were not already lost, 22 are “actively eroding”, meaning that the eroding shoreline is already within the boundaries of the site location. From this information, the research team generated a prioritized list of sites based on their yearly percentage of site loss and shortest projected lifetime for collecting archaeological data. These combined data show that four sites have lifetimes less than 50 years. Although many of the sites have a long projected life span, they are still actively undergoing erosion, and critical archaeological information is constantly being lost at these sites.

Publications:

Alexander, C.R., Robinson, M., Jackson, C., McCabe, C. and D. Crass. 2008.
Threatened Archaeological, Historic and Cultural Resources of the Georgia Coast:
Identification, Prioritization and Management Using GIS Technology. Final Report to
the Georgia Coastal Zone Management Program and Historic Preservation Division of
GA-DNR, 23 p. (public release), 103 p. (HPD release with site information).

Robinson, M., C. Alexander, C. McCabe, D. Crass and C. Jackson. 2010. Threatened
Archaeological, Historic and Cultural Resources of the Georgia Coast: Identification,
Prioritization and Management using GIS Technology. Geoarchaeology, 25:312-326.



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This page was updated February 24, 2014