Excavating Etowah Without Shovels

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an interesting article about new excavations at Etowah. Recently, archaeologists have been excavating using imaging technology. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“There is a lot out there,” says King. “To the north of Mound A and to the west, we see dense clusters of houses arranged around little plazas. I think what we are seeing are little neighborhoods within the larger Etowah — exactly what I would expect in terms of a village.”
King says the smaller buildings are less than 30 feet across, but there are also a number of much larger structures.
“We see some monster buildings out there behind Mound A and a couple between A and C. There is at least one big one that may be 30 meters (100 feet) on a side,” he says.


King estimates that it will take another year or two to completely map the entire 54-acre site, the first time that has ever been done. Using a variety of remote sensing techniques — ground-penetrating radar, magnetometers and electrical resistivity measurements — he hopes to develop an increasingly detailed view of what lies underground.
In a field where discovery and digging have long been synonymous, King wants to avoid the exuberant excavation — at times using a mule and a plow — that marked some of the earlier archaeology investigations at Etowah.
“We see how much information we can wring out of this place without ever putting a shovel in the ground,” he says.

The entire article is worth reading – especially the last section detailing how archaeologists are working with local Native American groups…

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