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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

Sept. 28, 2005 -- No. 455

Alcoa, UNC-Chapel Hill to announce plans
for artifacts from North Carolina’s oldest excavated settlement

Monday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m.
Historic Hardaway archaeological site
Badin, North Carolina

Representatives from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Alcoa Inc. will announce a major gift and new initiative to preserve artifacts from the historic Hardaway site, the oldest excavated settlement in North Carolina and one of the oldest and most significant archaeological sites in North America, in a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. The Alcoa Foundation also will announce an outreach grant to UNC to educate school children and the public about the 10,000-year-old site and the state’s earliest residents.

The Hardaway site, less than an acre in size, is located near the town of Badin in Stanly County. Note: Members of the press are asked not to publish the exact location of the Hardaway site due to previous incidents of unauthorized digging and looting at the site.

Fourth-graders from Badin Elementary School will be among the guests at the announcement ceremony, which will include demonstrations on the use of spear points by Scott Jones, a primitive technologist.

Dr. Vin Steponaitis, professor and director of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, will talk about the significance of the Hardaway site and will share a few of the artifacts found at Hardaway — spear points, scrapers and other tools people used in their daily lives. Geoff Cromer, president of Alcoa U.S. Primary Metals, also will speak along with Dr. Robert Shelton, UNC Provost and Greg Richardson, executive director of the NC Council on Indian Affairs.

Archaeologists from UNC unearthed the Hardaway artifacts over two separate episodes of fieldwork, with the last ending in 1980. These took place under an agreement with Alcoa, owner of the land and artifacts, which gave UNC permission to excavate and study the collection. Alcoa operates four hydroelectric stations, dams and reservoirs on the Yadkin River. The total collection from UNC’s excavations at Hardaway comprises some 1.5 million artifacts. In 1998, Alcoa transferred part of the collection to UNC.

On-site contact: UNC archaeologist Vin Steponaitis and Alcoa officials will be available for interviews.

Broadcast and radio outlets: In order to participate, and because of site restrictions on heavy equipment, it is mandatory to dial into a planning teleconference on Friday, September 30 at 10am. Contact Leigh Gates with Fitzpatrick Communications at (919) 625-1742 or llgates@jfitzcomm.com to receive the conference call-in number and passcode. Other media may take the shuttle bus on Monday, Oct. 3 from the Alcoa Conference Center in Badin to the Hardaway site, beginning at 10:15 a.m., approximately a 10-minute ride.

Directions: From Charlotte: Take U.S. 52 South to New London, then Highway 740 to Badin. From Raleigh and Chapel Hill: Take 49 South to Charlotte, Highway 8 to New London, then Highway 740 to Badin. Once in Badin, look for signs for the Alcoa Conference Center on Highway 740.

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Media contacts: (print and broadcast): Joyce Fitzpatrick, 919 247 4400 or Leigh Gates, Fitzpatrick Communications, (919) 625-1742, llgates@jfitzcomm.com

UNC College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Weaver Spurr, (919) 962-8951, spurrk@email.unc.edu