Rita Folse Elliott
THE PULSE OF PETERSBURG: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATION OF A SUBMERGED TOBACCO TOWN IN GEORGIA.
(Under the direction of Professor William N. Still, Jr.) Department of History, December 1988.
The purpose of this study is to conduct a multidisciplinary investigation on the submerged ruins of the frontier town of Petersburg, Georgia, and examine the potential for underwater archaeology on submerged terrestrial sites in the southeastern United States. Examination of this late eighteenth-early nineteenth-century tobacco river port included employing the fields of historical research, underwater archaeology, economics, geography, and oral history. This combination of disciplines resulted in the compilation of a large and varied body of data.
Historical research produced a large field of primary and secondary sources relating to Petersburg's past. Geography and underwater archaeology revealed important information concerning site location, boundaries, and artifact assemblages. Fieldwork demonstrated the usefulness of conducting underwater research in the southeastern United States, and the potential it offers for other sites in similar situations. Economic studies, combined with historical research proved helpful in placing Petersburg in a broader regional and national perspective, while oral history rounded out the Petersburg study. This multidisciplinary approach produced the first comprehensive study of a very important segment of Georgia's past.