Video: What This 400-Year-Old Native Homestead Site Tells Us

For the third year now, the Forest Service has been excavating a Native American homestead site in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia
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For the third year now, the Forest Service has been excavating a Native American homestead site in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia.

There is one primary structure and possibly some outbuildings that date to 1600 AD. “We think there was an extended family living here, maybe 10 to 15 people,” James Wettstaed, forest archaeologist with Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, says in the video. He shows viewers a clay hearth that has half unearthed in the center of the home.

“Each summer when they have field schools like this it’s just a new opportunity to learn more about our people,” says Yolanda Saunooke, with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian. “There’s still a lot of questions out there that we don’t have answers to, and field work like this provides some of those… it’s always a learning experience.”

The time period this homestead was occupied was a critical one in the southeastern Indian tribes; Wettstaed explains why in the video: