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digATLThe Digital Atlanta Portal

Projects, collections, and data about the metro area produced by Georgia State University faculty, staff, and students working with and within their communities. More ...

Tag: Archaeology

During the 1970s, Georgia State University archaeologists conducted systematic excavations associated with the construction of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail lines. This project recovered the material remains of Atlanta’s past, and these materials represent the single most comprehensive archaeological collection of Atlanta’s history. In addition, the excavations themselves are among the pioneering projects of urban archaeology in the then nascent field of CRM (Cultural Resource Management). Thus, just the excavation archive, which is part of the collection, is invaluable for the history of archaeology in the US, especially the burgeoning new field of urban archaeology. The entire collection (440 medium-sized “banker” boxes housing over 100,000 artifacts and all the accompanying documentation and excavation archive) has recently been returned to GSU. Showcasing significant “moments” in the life of the city, including several Civil War sites associated with the Battle of Atlanta, the majority of the collection corresponds to the late 19th and early 20th century, the time of Atlanta’s rebirth as a major metropolitan area, the collection opens immense opportunities for faculty and student research and public education and outreach. Furthermore, it will facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations within GSU, as well as with other universities in the Atlanta-area for the curation, conservation, study, and exhibition of the artifacts and archive.

Jeffrey Glover, Ph.D., GSU Department of Anthropology, and archaeology students
Arts & Culture

Flat Rock Cemetery Project

The Flat Rock community in southern DeKalb County, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) is one of the oldest continually-occupied African-American communities in Georgia. Although history shows...
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The Flat Rock community in southern DeKalb County, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) is one of the oldest continually-occupied African-American communities in Georgia. Although history shows that many African-American communities in the South were broken apart as former slaves migrated north in search of jobs and a more equitable life, Flat Rock remained an intact community. This was largely due to the efforts of individuals who were able to purchase land and later sell it in small parcels to fellow community members. Proximity—both to ancestors and significant places—is a cross-culturally important component to the creation of a sense of community. Placed on a high peak in DeKalb County, the Flat Rock Cemetery became such a place for the Flat Rock community. It contains burials dating from 1834 (three years prior to the official establishment of the community) through 1959. In the spring of 2008, Johnny Waits, president of the Flat Rock Archive, proposed a project to the members of the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society (GAAS) involving the clearing and mapping of this historic cemetery. These initial meetings eventually led to the involvement of Georgia State University (GSU). Through the use of a total station, Jeffrey Glover of GSU and his students have been mapping the cemetery and conducting research into its material culture. The objectives of this project include completion of the cemetery map and the subsequent connection of identified graves to the archival data collected by Mr. Waits. These data will be integrated with photographic images of tombstones and material offerings, and will be established on GSU’s geospatial server using ESRI’s ArcServer. These interactive maps will be made accessible to visitors to the Flat Rock archive web site.

Jeffrey Glover, Ph.D., Anthropology Department, and students working with the Flat Rock Archive
Arts & Culture