STATESBORO — In 2012, the PBS show Time Team America tracked the adventures of a Georgia Southern University archaeologist and students at Camp Lawton, a Civil War POW camp in Millen, as they uncovered buried secrets using the latest technology and decades of expertise.
The episode premiered Tuesday night on PBS.
Host Justine Shapiro and a television crew from Oregon spent one week following the students’ trowels as they dug, scraped and sifted through centuries of soil to recover precious clues to the past.
The show was filmed at Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen. The area was the site of Camp Lawton, which at the close of the Civil War was believed to be the largest prison camp in the world.
Camp Lawton was constructed in 1864 by the Confederate Army to replace Georgia’s notorious Andersonville prison. Camp Lawton housed more than 10,000 Union prisoners and hundreds of Confederate soldiers.
The camp was only occupied for six weeks before evacuations began in the middle of the night on Nov. 26, 1864, as the Union army approached during Sherman’s March to the Sea.
Georgia Southern archaeologists believe that hasty exit may be the reason so many artifacts remained on the site.
The state park was established in the 1930s after the exact boundaries of the prison camp no longer were known.
For more information or to find a local channel, go to www.pbs.org/time-team/home.