Indiana Jones made archaeology cool, and now a grant funded by Armstrong State University is making it accessible and free to Savannahians.
Digging Savannah gives regular folks a chance to play archaeologist at some of Savannah's historical hot spots. According to Laura Seifert, anthropology and archaeology professor at Armstrong and marketing coordinator for Skidaway Island State Park, the mission of Digging Savannah is to "teach people stuff about archaeology."
The group will host its next event at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Skidaway Island State Park. Tickets are $10 per person and available only online. There is also a $5 charge for parking.
"We will walk the three-mile Big Ferry trail," Seifert said. "There are several sites along the way. We will stop and talk about the history, specifically the history relating to Skidaway and Georgia."
While the trail is technically not a handicap-accessible trail, Seifert said the hike is easy and most people should be comfortable with the distance. Seifert said the event is recommended for adults and children 12 and older, because younger children tend to get bored during the three-mile trek which is expected to last two hours.
She recommended children take advantage of Digging Savannah's achaeology mobile unit, The ArchaeoBus, that makes appearances around town. For a schedule, go to www.diggingsavannah.wordpresss.com.
"The sites on the trail include Native American shell middens," Seifert said. "Middens are essentially trash piles from Native Americans harvesting oysters. These sites date back about 5,000 years and Skidaway is home to some of the oldest."
Seifert said the trail also includes Civil War-era earthworks as well as plantation sites.
"There are also liquor still sites," she added. "There were a lot of stills in Skidaway during the Prohibition era, and we will talk about how that affected the island, as well."
Seifert recommends wearing comfortable shoes for the hike, and guests are welcome to bring along cameras for photographs. She also said entry into park is included with the ticket price.
If you miss out on the Skidaway events, Seifert said Digging Savannah will host a similar event downtown on March 15. That walk starts at Battlefield Park and goes through several squares and ends at Emmet Park.
For more information, go to Digging Savannah's Facebook page or their website.