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Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River: Technical Synthesis of Cultural Resource Investigations, Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area, Vol. I & II

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This report synthesizes archaeological, historical, and architectural investigations undertaken in the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area, commonly referred to as the Russell Reservoir, from 1969 through 1985. The project area, located along the upper Savannah River in the central piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina, lies between the J. Storm Thurmond Dam and reservoir (formerly Clarks Hill Lake) and the Hartwell Dam and Lake. Prior to the construction of the Russell Reservoir, the 28 mile segment of the main channel and its associated tributaries making up the project area represented the last major undammed stretch of the river in the piedmont. The cultural resources program undertaken in the 52,000 acre Russell Reservoir thus offered an unparalleled opportunity to examine human life as it occurred over a long period of time along the Savannah River. A record of human occupation spanning 11,000 years was found, from the initial PaleoIndian settlers moving into the area at the end of the last ice age to the tenant farmers moving out in the 1930s and 1940s. Detailed descriptions of the project environment, a history of the cultural resources program, its strengths and weaknesses, and a period by period discussion of the findings and their significance is provided.