Monday, April 13, 2015

CVHS Program for Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 3 p.m.

The LaFayette Ceremonial Stone Complex: 
An Unexpected Discovery of A  Prehistoric Stone Row and Stones Piles in Chambers County

Presenter: Teresa Paglione, Cultural Resources Specialist, National Resources Conservation Services, US Department of Agriculture

About a decade ago a member of The Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society Board of Directors followed a clue found in printed material in the Cobb Memorial Archives to rediscover a mysterious site of stones long ignored and almost forgotten by the inhabitants of Chambers County.  The Board member with family made lengthy treks through cottonmouth infested swamps to reach and walk over the undisturbed site.  In the nineteenth century this odd array of stones covering acres of land next to a creek was approachable by field roads and was visited by picnic parties of school children and families.
 Since the rediscovery of the site, the CVHS Board has identified the landowner and secured permission for access to the sight for purposes of study and documentation.   Teresa Paglione, as a professional archeologist, was asked by the Board to provide leadership in documentation of the site. The landowner is committed to protecting the site because of its unique value in understanding the history of Chambers County and this region.  The location of the site and name of the owner will not be publicized and access to the site is made by permission of owner through CVHS officers. A rattlesnake has been observed in the stones.
 The LaFayette Ceremonial Stone Complex consists of a single massive linear stone row in somewhat of a crescent shape-with both ends leading downhill to a creek.  Across from this linear stone work and the creek are at least 49 stone piles.  Archaeologists are certain that Native Americans erected these stone works but when they were constructed is not easily documented.  Dozens of these works have been identified in North Alabama. The LaFayette Ceremonial Complex is the largest known work of this type so far south in the topography of our state.  This stone work and site date from perhaps a thousand or more years ago. The historic Native Americans would have recognized these ancient sacred sites, given them names and may have contributed to the works.  Teresa will describe the LaFayette Ceremonial Site and the work to date in the effort to document the large site and its stone works.
Teresa was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, lived in Orlando, Florida (pre-Disney) and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama.  Graduating with a degree in Art and a double-minor in Sociology-Anthropology from Auburn University Montgomery, she started working with a local archeologist, Dave Chase, in her junior year at AUM.  After working for a year in archaeology in Alabama, she attended graduate school at Florida State University.  She has worked as an archeologist for private contractors, the State of Florida, Georgia Dept. of Transportation, the National Park Service (Florida), the US Forest Service (Chattahoochee National Forest, GA), and for the past eighteen years , the Natural Resources Conservation Service here in Alabama. She is former Vice President and President of the Alabama Archaeological Society, President of the local East Alabama Chapter of the Alabama Archaeological Society, and a Board Member of the Lee County Historical Society.

No comments:

Post a Comment