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Georgia Southern Camp Lawton Team Honored by U.S. Department of the Interior

10-01 PBS Show TIME TEAM AMERICA Films Georgia Southern Archaeology Students at Camp LawtonGeorgia Southern University’s team of student and faculty archaeologists has been awarded the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation award for their work in discovering a long-lost Civil War prison camp.

The team was presented the award by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.  The award is given to those who have achieved exemplary conservation results through local partnerships, while engaging the community. Georgia Southern’s team was honored for their discovery of the exact location of Camp Lawton along with numerous personal artifacts left behind by Civil War soldiers.

“Georgia Southern University is very proud of our students and faculty who have been honored with the Partners in Conservation award,” said University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. “Not only has their research and subsequent discovery shed new light on a critical point in American history, but it has also created numerous opportunities for the community. Our archaeology team has hosted hundreds of school children at the site to give them a hands-on educational experience. Teachers visited the site over the summer as they learned how to explain the Civil War to their students. And, the artifacts found are on display to give the public a deeper understanding of the lives of Civil War soldiers. This discovery will add to our knowledge of that time for decades.”

The artifacts were found at Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, Ga. The area was the site of Camp Lawton, which at the close of the Civil War was believed to be the largest prison camp in the world. The state park was established in the 1930’s, after the exact boundaries of the prison camp were no longer known. Last year, Georgia Southern University professor Sue Moore, Ph.D., and graduate student Kevin Chapman led the team of student archaeologists that pinpointed the site of one stockade wall and found the first artifacts on a portion of land in Magnolia Springs State Park that had recently been transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition to the Georgia Southern University team, representatives from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Jenkins County were also honored for their work on the preservation of the Camp Lawton site.

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