Georgia University Students Save Slave Artifacts from Demolition - Higher Education: Behind the towering Live Oak trees in the Savannah suburb of Georgetown, crews of archaeologists recently unearthed the brown and red dirt for signs that slaves once lived there. They found physical evidence of how slaves on the Miller Plantation lived and the tools they used around the kitchen in everyday life, including fragments of dishes, white and blue ceramics and green glass.
Such artifacts can breathe life into the pages of history, says Daina Ramey Berry, a scholar of American slavery at the University of Texas in Austin who has studied slavery in the region.
“For me as a historian, I learn more about slavery from a toilet or a trash pit. I can use the archaeological report as a physical record. It’s very powerful,” Berry said.
The archaeological discovery by the Georgia Department of Transportation was triggered by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, a federal law that requires archaeological digs on public land in historically significant areas. The landowner in this case is the Georgia DOT, which purchased the property from a private landowner for a highway project known as the Abercorn Extension.