Title

Archaeological Documentation and Assessment of Hydraulic Mining Ditches in Lumpkin County, GA

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Balco

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

History/Anthropology/Philosophy

Location

Library Technology Center 163

Start Date

24-3-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

24-3-2017 10:50 AM

Description/Abstract

Following the discovery of gold in the north Georgia mountains, new and complicated mining techniques were introduced, irreversibly transforming the landscape in and around Lumpkin County in the mid-nineteenth century. Complex networks of mining ditches were constructed to direct high-pressure water to hydraulic mining operations in Dahlonega. Although largely forgotten, these ditches remain visible across much of Lumpkin County, hidden in the woods and under decades of leaf litter. This paper discusses the archaeological investigation of the mining ditches present in the county, reporting data collected from archived maps and historical sources. During the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, historical documents including maps, letters, and newspaper articles were collected, facilitating the creation of a modern, georeferenced map displaying the locations of many of the ditches in the county. Solutions to problems associated with georeferencing these older, archival maps will be presented. Results of this archaeological investigation demonstrate the scale of hydraulic mining operations in Lumpkin County and provide the basis for a broader investigation of the consequent landscape transformation.

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Mar 24th, 10:00 AM Mar 24th, 10:50 AM

Archaeological Documentation and Assessment of Hydraulic Mining Ditches in Lumpkin County, GA

Library Technology Center 163

Following the discovery of gold in the north Georgia mountains, new and complicated mining techniques were introduced, irreversibly transforming the landscape in and around Lumpkin County in the mid-nineteenth century. Complex networks of mining ditches were constructed to direct high-pressure water to hydraulic mining operations in Dahlonega. Although largely forgotten, these ditches remain visible across much of Lumpkin County, hidden in the woods and under decades of leaf litter. This paper discusses the archaeological investigation of the mining ditches present in the county, reporting data collected from archived maps and historical sources. During the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, historical documents including maps, letters, and newspaper articles were collected, facilitating the creation of a modern, georeferenced map displaying the locations of many of the ditches in the county. Solutions to problems associated with georeferencing these older, archival maps will be presented. Results of this archaeological investigation demonstrate the scale of hydraulic mining operations in Lumpkin County and provide the basis for a broader investigation of the consequent landscape transformation.