Tree dating at the great dismal swamp
Jordan Riccio was a part of Professor Sayers’ first student field research team in 2009 while working on his master’s degree.
Riccio rejoined Sayers in 2016 during the filming of the documentary.
“I think that’s very inspiring and should not be forgotten.” The movie’s details on the lives of the runaway slaves and Native Americans in the Swamp also help viewers learn how land evolved over time, Peixotto said.
“When we look at our land use and our maps of our space around us today..of people have this idea that it’s always been like that,” Peixotto said.
Before arriving at the site, Peixotto would use Lidar, an aerial laser scanner, to see through the trees and examine elevations in the Swamp.
She used this information to identify more islands in the Virginia section of the Swamp that are similar to the those Sayers was exploring in North Carolina.
“We need to know more about our radicals—our social radicals,” Sayers said.Sayer’s interest in the area peaked during his doctoral dissertation project.He sifted through old documents and history books on the area for research.“They are both so enthusiastic and they recognize the importance of archaeology and they pass that on to their students.” To Sayers and Peixotto, their most important findings were physical sites that verified that people had lived in the Swamp and that material culture came with them.Most findings at these sites are small, as large artifacts do not tend to weather the humid and extreme environment well and are more difficult to preserve.