- Posted August 27, 2010 by
Moss Point, Mississippi
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Track the oil disaster
"Archeologist Rescues Gulf Coast Artifacts from Oil Spill"
As fisherman and wildlife continue to make headlines in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, Archeologist, Dr. Edward Jackson has a different story to tell.
He depends on fragile marshes resources along the Gulf Coast as a vital outdoor laboratory, to study subsistence patterns of past civilizations.
This four-minute video documents Edward Jackson and his team of students from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), on a "search and rescue" mission to save archeological artifacts from contamination by oil that would make carbon dating impossible.
The group investigates shell middens in order to find clues to how human populations today, can subsist sustainably, based on solutions developed by Native American communities in prehistory.
Although the economic scale is one of subsistence in the past, versus commercial enterprise today, Dr. Jackson insists, that we must salvage lessons of the past in order to understand our options for the future.
The team's research sites, Kenny's Island and Crooked Bayou site, are located off the coast of Moss Point, on the border of Mississippi/Alabama, approximately 110 miles from the epicenter of the Deepwater Horizon spill, and comprise part of the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Grand Bay National Estuarine Reserve.
As of September, "Archeology Month" in the state of Mississippi, the team is still at work, and the site is considered at high risk for contamination, despite the presence of booms.
There are opportunities for the public to learn more and/or volunteer.
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
University of Southern Mississippi
Facebook Group: Mississippi Archeological Association (MAA)