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Interpretive Inertia and Data Concatenation at Cannon’s Point, Georgia

Author(s): Nicholas Honerkamp

Year: 2014

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Thanks to John Solomon Otto’s pioneering work in plantation archaeology, Cannon’s Point on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is well known to most contemporary researchers. A ‘mystery’ tabby structure associated with this site was recently investigated by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to determine its approximate age and possible function. Documentary records and oral history information were either non-existent or ambiguous, but were sufficient to frame the existence of the tabby as an integral part of the 19th century plantation landscape - an interpretation that eventually morphed into a self-fulfilling prophecy. A radically different interpretation emerged when archaeological data were added to the interpretative equation. The contrasting archaeological evidence did not negate the above-ground data sets, but it did require a somewhat humbling re-integration of attitudes, assumptions, and concomitant interpretations.

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Interpretive Inertia and Data Concatenation at Cannon’s Point, Georgia. Nicholas Honerkamp. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436881)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-35,02

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America