Kennesaw State students excavate Civil War battlefield

One of the country’s best preserved Civil War battlefields‚ Pickett’s Mill‚ had never been excavated until Kennesaw State University students and faculty took on the project about two weeks ago.

Georgia (Jun 21, 2006) — One of the country’s best preserved Civil War battlefields‚ Pickett’s Mill‚ had never been excavated until Kennesaw State University students and faculty took on the project about two weeks ago.

This summer‚ 33 students‚ led by two faculty members‚ are gaining in−the−field experience and credit hours while learning the skills of excavation‚ shovel survey and metal detecting at the Paulding County state historic site.

The class has met four times‚ and so far‚ the students have found 110 items‚ such as miniballs‚ horseshoes‚ buttons‚ an iron‚ a pocket knife and pieces of pottery and glass. In addition to the battlefield‚ the class is excavating the nearby farmhouse‚ its well‚ root cellar and garbage dump sites. According to professor Terry Powis‚ who is heading the class‚ approximately 250 soldiers are unaccounted for‚ so it’s likely they’ll discover some human remains‚ as well.

“It’s been quite successful so far‚” Powis said. “We’ve achieved what we expected to find. And the students are very enthusiastic. They see the point of notetaking and record keeping.”

This unique class began when Powis‚ who has 20 years of field experience‚ contacted the state archaeology office about conducting a field school at Pickett’s Mill. He said the state had been trying to find someone to excavate the site for ten years with no luck‚ so they eagerly accepted his offer‚ granting Powis a sole one−year permit.

“This benefits the state‚ as well‚” Powis said. “Our findings will impact what they do at the park.”

In addition‚ the items will eventually be on display at the state park – after Powis and his students analyze all their findings in their new lab‚ scheduled to open this fall in the new Social Sciences Building on KSU’s campus.

For more information on Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site‚ click here.





A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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