The early decades of the Georgia colony saw both success and failure against a backdrop of social, political, and economic experimentation, all within a vast expanse of natural resources. This presentation explores an expression of these forces in a frontier setting along tributary streams in modern-day Screven County, Georgia. Recent survey and testing by the author and Georgia Southern University field program students builds on initial findings from the 2018 and 2020 field seasons, revealing substantial and well-preserved evidence of lifeways and industry at the location of a presumed mill complex dating to the latter half of the eighteenth century. Extant earthen architecture, material findings, and the spatial relationships among locales within the site complex inspire meaningful questions and hold promise for answers to the multifaceted and interrelated experiences of entrepreneurs, the enslaved, and their participation in spheres both local and within the larger, burgeoning world system prior to, during, and after the American War of Independence.


Georgia Southern University, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

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