I deliberately named the Savannah Archaeological Alliance (unlike the orange color scheme, which was a bit random, but as a Syracuse alum, I’m liking it). The Savannah and Archaeological should be fairly obvious- we’re doing archaeology in Savannah. The Alliance part is the most critical. I started this little venture as one person, but I’m already gaining partners and alliances. And nothing can happen without a little help from our friends. As I roll out more projects, I will introduce some partners that will be pretty obvious- other historic sites, historians, preservationists, and anthropologists. Others may not be immediately intuitive.
As anthropologists, we are trained to think holistically, to look at the whole picture. The Savannah Archaeological Alliance (SAA) looks at preservation holistically, not just considering historic preservation, city planning, archives, and other types of historic and urban resources and professionals. True, holistic preservation needs a healthy, local economy; SAA will always buy local when possible. True preservation also needs a healthy environment and in particular, good land conservation. For example, supporting family farms supports the preservation of archaeology sites. How? Attend your local farmer’s market*, buy local food, and keep family-owned farms in business. Small farms are good stewards of the land, and care about preserving their land in every sense of the word. Plowing and working the land does little to disturb archaeology sites. When small farms fail or when the next generation simply doesn’t want to continue farming, they have to sell their land, and to whom? Usually a developer.
There are many ways to preserve archaeology sites and support preservation, so we’ll be highlighting some of those projects that work and some that don’t in our Alliance series. We’ll also share ways you can support preservation everyday. This fall, become a Friend of the Forsyth Farmer’s Market, and better yet, stop by the Market Saturday morning (9am-1pm) or buy from the Farm Truck throughout the week. See you at the Market.
*Full disclosure: I am a member of the Forsyth Farmer’s Market Board of Directors.