Radar Reveals Archaeological Finds at Battlefield Park

Some of the findings.
Some of the findings.
The ground-penetrating radar equipment.
The ground-penetrating radar equipment.

You know there's a lot of history around Savannah. Just look around. But did you ever think of looking underground? That's just what they're doing at Savannah's Battlefield Park.

To many, what searchers uncovered may look like a huge pile of junk, but it's really pieces of Savannah's history found at the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution, the Siege of Savannah in 1779.

"It shows some high-level history in Savannah, and we'll bring it back to life," said Savannah native and self-proclaimed history buff Thomas Grooms, who works at the gift shop of the adjoining Roundhouse Railroad Museum..

The Coastal Heritage Society plans to renovate Battlefield Park, but bringing back history wasn't the real challenge. The team had to make sure they didn't build on top of any hidden artifacts, and that's where the machine pictured here comes in, or as the archaeological team calls it, the Mack Daddy of Ground-Penetrating Radars.

The radar has surveyed 250 acres, acting like an archeological MRI, allowing them to look beneath the surface but without disturbing the soil or any artifacts that may be buried there.

It scanned eight feet deep. Local historians hoped the underground snapshot would paint a precise picture of what Battlefield Park looked like more than 200 years ago.

But what the radar found was some underground soil disturbances and what appears to be a 100-foot trench. They're finds that Thomas Grooms says couldn't be more exciting.

"My heritage does go back, I had family involved in this, and to see it come to life and see people from all over the world and future generations to see all the sacrifices made is awesome," he said.

Stay tuned. They're opening more than nine acres of Battlefield Park later this year.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com