The Baucom Hardaway Site was ideally suited to the needs of aboriginal peoples down through milleniums of time. This site had everything, so to speak, that would fulfill the wants of hunting-gathering bands of people and they returned here seasonally for untold generations. The campsite lies adjacent to a natural crossing point or ford; at the base of a hill of high quality lithic material needed for tools and weapons; at the juncture of a small river and a never-failing branch of spring water; five miles from a salt lick, a mecca for all herbivorous animals of the region; all this coupled with the normal and natural foodstuffs produced by the surrounding hills and valleys. Small wonder that this site attracted hunting-gathering people for 12,000 years or more.
The lithic, osseous and carbonized leavings of these various groups of people lay in a large stratified deposit ideally suited for archaeological, paleontological, palynological and other scientific studies. But the site was in danger of being destroyed, or at least a portion of it.
When appeals for help from state institutions failed or were ignored, a local group of non-professional archaeologists, "The Piedmont Archaeological Society", undertook the excavation of the portion of the site threatened by destruction. A small, but dedicated group excavated here for four years and brought to light the information contained in this report.
It is hoped that their findings will inspire others who are much better equipped, scientifically and technologically, to retrieve and to analyze the information that lies preserved here waiting for the future.
The authors would like to commend and thank the following people for their contributions and to the success of this endeavor: Heath W. Baucom, site discoverer, and Kenneth Baucom, father and son, who accomplished most of the excavations; Geraldine Baucom (Mrs. Heath Baucom) for her unfailing hospitality; Mary and Charles R. McCarn, Arthur L. Fisher, Joe M. Andrews and Jerry D. Dixon for their long hours of work in excavating the site; Vaughn Baucom, land owner who agreed to preserve the site for the future, and Dr. Vance Haynes, for his encouragement and help in radiocarbon dating. We salute you one and all.
The above names people, can all feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride in their contributions to science and man's knowledge of "Early Man" in this important region of North America. It is not often that one has the opportunity to make such a gift to the knowledge of the ages, and these people through their knowledge, hard work, position and skills, have taken advantage of the unique opportunities offered them by fate. May their future endeavors be just as rewarding.
"Something hidden! Go and find it!"