High Tech Science Comes to Old Ninety Six

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Date: April 14, 2014
Contact: Sarah Cunningham, 864-543-4068
Contact: John Slaughter, 864-543-4068
Contact: Lori Collins, Ph.D., 813-974-0613

High Tech Science Comes to Old Ninety Six: Rangers, Archeologists, Educators & Public Television Work to Preserve the Kosciusko Mine at Ninety Six National Historic Site

NINETY SIX, South Carolina: High tech is coming to Ninety Six National Historic Site as a way to preserve our nation's heritage and provide digital access to an area of the park that lies beneath the ground and is inaccessible.This is made possible through a collaborative partnership between the National Park Service, the University of South Florida- Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies and South Carolina ETV.The public is invited to attend Archeology Day, Saturday April 19, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm at the park.During Archeology Day, visitors will have the chance to see high tech equipment in use and learn about the science and technology involved.Archeologists and Rangers will be available to share information and conduct demonstrations. Visitors will find out what they can do to help preserve and protect special places like Ninety Six National Historic Site.

In a unique partnership between archeologists and researchers, work will be done that will assist the park to stabilize, protect and preserve the Kosciuszko tunnel, the only existing military tunnel during the American Revolution. The 125-foot tunnel is 3-4 feet in height and was dug in the subsurface soil by Patriot soldiers from American lines toward the British-held Star Fort during the course of the 1781 siege that is commemorated at the park. A team from the University of South Florida (USF), in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC), are using 3D laser scanning and imaging along with geophysical remote sensing tools to assist with conservation, management, and public interpretive development of unique American Revolutionary period site features. The researchers will use 3D laser scanners to create the most accurate model of the Star Fort and the tunnel beneath, creating new state-of-the-art public interpretation and digital record, including a 3D print model of the important site and its features.

The Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies (AIST), a Center of Research at USF is working to preserve and protect the world's cultural and natural heritage through interdisciplinary research, education, and global engagement. Using newly available technologies, USF will record the tunnel and earthen star fortification, providing valuable information for long-term conservation and future interpretation of this important historical site. AIST researchers have worked nationally and internationally on important heritage preservation projects in response to the disappearance of world heritage that is accelerated by issues like pollution, climate change, looting and vandalism, war and poverty, and neglect. AIST researchers are using 3D imaging and laser scanning to protect and preserve the past for present and future generations. Using the latest advances in 3D laser scanning, photographic modeling, Google Glass and wearable computers, augmented reality, and 3D printing, AIST captures global heritage and archaeological treasures that are imperiled. Dr. Travis Doering, who along with Dr. Lori Collins, is the Co-Director of AIST, says this work gives sites like Ninety Six National Historic Site, a digital life, so they can be shared, preserved, and better maintained for everyone.

AIST has worked at sites international locations in Egypt, Spain, Greece, the jungles of Guatemala, throughout Mexico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also numerous sites in Florida.The Florida projects range from prehistoric shell mounds, to 16th century Spanish Forts, to 18th century sugar mill ruins, and on our nation's space history at Cape Canaveral. AIST brings these exciting projects back to the USF classroom, in full 3D, demonstrating to students how to apply technology to save vanishing heritage. Through classes in museum studies, advanced field methods, and heritage visualization in USF's School of Geosciences, AIST gives students the opportunity to learn high tech skills in advanced hardware and software and apply solutions to world crisis kinds of issues. According to Collins, who uses the 3D data in her teaching, "it's really a novel kind of approach to learning and brings together students from computer science and engineering, anthropology, history, environmental science, geology, and geography, all in the same room. These advances change and improve how we learn and work together with interesting results."

Additionally, South Carolina ETV will be working collaboratively with USF - AIST to produce a documentary highlighting both the technology and the story of the Kosciusko tunnel, Ninety Six National Historic Site, and a short documentation video of the tunnel laser mapping process.

Superintendent John Slaughter hopes that the public will take part in the Archeology Day, stating, "This is an amazing opportunity to come out to Ninety Six National Historic Site to 'live and learn' by discovering through archaeology and technology, the national significance associated with places and events in South Carolina where vital contributions were made towards victory during the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution." We hope everyone takes as much pride in Ninety Six National Historic Site's history as we do!

Ninety Six National Historic Site is home to battlefields from the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and much more. The park is located 2 miles south of the town of Ninety Six on Highway 248.For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/nisi/index.htm or call (864) 543-4068. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ninetysixnps.



About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 Hwy 248

Ninety Six, SC 29666


(864) 543-4068

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