Archaeology Day sheds light on past

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John Whatley always looks forward to the annual Archaeology Day at the Ezekiel Harris House.

"We've been doing it for years," he said. "Some exciting things have turned up."

Each year, professional archaeologists gather to offer assistance to the public in identifying, dating and understanding the significance of prehistoric artifacts found in the Augusta area.

"There will be plenty to look at," said Mr. Whatley, program chairman for the Augusta Archaeological Society, which co-sponsors the event with the Augusta Museum of History. Anyone can bring their arrow points, pottery shards - even historical items such as musket balls - to the Harris house on Broad Street for a professional opinion involving age and rarity.

"We do not get into pricing artifacts, or their buying or selling," Mr. Whatley said. "But we do our best to share what we know about them."

In past years, visitors have brought in artifacts as old as the Clovis period dating back 13,500 years.

"But a lot of what we see is late Archaic, 1,000 B.C. to 3,500 B.C.," he said. "There was a large population her at that time and a lot of point types from that era - the stemmed Christmas tree shapes people are familiar with - are what we see the most of."

Unusual items turn up, too.

"One time, we had a whale skull brought in," he said. "Some fellow found it in the trunk of a used car up in Edgefield."

In addition to artifact evaluations, the event will include tours of the Harris house, flint knapping demonstrations to show how stone artifacts were made and primitive weapon demonstrations.

The event will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

ARCHAEOLOGY DAY


WHEN: Saturday
WHERE: Ezekiel Harris House, 1822 Broad St.
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ADMISSION: free
ACTIVITIES: flint knapping, artifact identification, house tours
MORE INFORMATION: (706) 737-2820

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