In this episode of Strata, Dan Elliot of the LAMAR Institute set out to document Carr’s Fort, a fortified farmstead used during the American Revolutionary War. The fort originally was commanded by Captain Robert Carr and housed his 100 patriot troops. In February of 1779, the woods of north Georgia were bristling with small skirmishes between the patriots and the British. The battles helped determine the outcome of the Revolutionary War. Carr’s Fort and its sister sites are part of the fabric of the history of America.
Strata: Portraits of Humanity is a monthly half-hour video series available online and on select cable channels. Strata is a showcase for unique and diverse stories about the world’s cultural heritage. Stories come from across the globe with segments produced by Archaeological Legacy Institute and dozens of producer and distributor partners around the world.
Click on the image below to view the program on The Archaeology Channel and scroll down to see the curriculum developed by AntiquityNOW to accompany this episode’s video.
- To discover how archaeologists uncover history using various tools, and how they piece together their findings to create as accurate a representation of human activity as possible.
- To introduce students to the value of preservation and how our understanding of the past writes or rewrites the pages of history.
- To appreciate how cultural heritage can enlighten us as world citizens and inform our behaviors as individuals and societies.
- To appreciate the different views taken by opposing sides in any conflict, and how those views can be affected by culture, time and history.
- To understand how perspective drives the course of history, and how we must be vigilant to discern between facts and conjecture, propaganda and actual events.
- To put yourself in others’ shoes and see events through different perspectives.
Project Idea #1
- In the book Invisible Armies, author Max Boot traces the role of guerrilla warfare through history, starting in the Roman Empire all the way up to Afghanistan. He tells Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio the American Revolution was the turning point in guerrilla warfare.
- Group Discussion: What is guerrilla warfare? What distinguishes it from other forms of combat? What are its advantages? Disadvantages? How did it contribute to the outcome of the American Revolution?
- Activity: Many TV shows, movies and books have invasion and resistance as central themes. Write a short story based on these themes. It can be drawn from real events or can be entirely of your own making. Think about the setting (time and place), the plot and what perspective you will use (first, third person or omniscient narrator). Are you trying to make a point with your story, or is it just an account of events that will encourage readers to draw their own conclusions? See where your imagination takes you!
Project Idea #2
- The phrase “History belongs to the victors” is often attributed to Winston Churchill, but is in fact of unknown origin.
- Group Discussion: What does this phrase mean? How is history changed by who records it? How does archaeology figure into our historical views of authenticity?
- Group Discussion: Think about what it would mean to rewrite a historical record. Envision different historical outcomes, such as what if Germany had won World War II? What if the Native Americans had successfully challenged the settlers? What if in the United States 9/11 never happened? What if the Confederacy had won the Civil War? What if slavery had not been abolished? Consider the following:
- How would we be affected today?
- What would be different?
- What would be the same?
- Group Activity: Use your creativity to ponder a new perspective to our world history and inspire a refashioning of history. Produce a newscast reflecting this new perspective of an event or time. What would you report on? What would be the situation of the people who had been conquered? What would the society be like in terms of social issues and cultural activities? Create a video with different reporters doing segments, much like a typical half-hour news show today with news, sports, cultural events, human interest stories, etc.
Project Idea #3
- The phrase “Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s patriot (freedom fighter)” has many variations, but speaks to a similar theme. Click here for some perspective on the phrase.
- Group Discussion: What does this phrase mean? How can different people have such different perspectives? What gives rise to terrorism, rebellion or revolution? Is terrorism distinct from rebellion or revolution? How does nomenclature, or what we call something, make a difference in how we see it an idea, a person, a political or social movement?
- Activity: Write diary entries (4) from the points of view below. In each, describe why you are fighting for the “cause.” What influenced your beliefs? What is your opinion of your foes? It is interesting to note that the military operations at Carr’s Fort were instrumental in achieving victory for the Revolutionary soldiers and securing the independence of the United States. Ironically, less than a century later, many families of those same soldiers fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War—as rebels against the United States. Think about how ideas can shape perspective, and explore those ideas in the diaries below.
- American soldier and British soldier during Revolutionary War
- Union soldier and Confederate soldier during the Civil War
American Revolution (The History Place)
Archaeologists discover Revolutionary War Carr’s Fort (11Alive, WXIA, Atlanta, Georgia)
History of Georgia (Wikipedia)
The Search and Discovery of Captain Robert Carr’s Fort and Its Revolutionary War Battlefield, Wilkes County, Georgia. LAMAR Institute Publication Series, Report Number 189. (LAMAR Institute) (PDF)