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Archives For August 2015

Legendre and ASK present glassHow do archaeologists identify the fragmentary shards of glass found in excavations as bottles, plates, and cups?  Archaeologists at the College of Charleston can tell you. Sarah Legendre and Dr. Allison Sterrett-Krause presented preliminary findings of their work conducted over the summer in the annual celebration of summer research at the College of Charleston.  Their study applied stepped regression analysis to develop a typological hierarchy, useful for identifying the functional type of most glass fragments found in Mediterranean contexts.  The quantitative approach aids a field in which previous studies had used more empirical categories, not always informed by statistical methods.

Their work, funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, the Department of Classics, and the Yawkey Foundation and conducted at the Center for Social Science Research (CofC), will be formally presented at the upcoming 20th Congrès de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre in Fribourg, Switzerland.

CofC archaeologists assist with fossil whale recovery in Dorchester County. http://tinyurl.com/ptqv22u

mrd logoThe Marine Research Division of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA-MRD) is offering 3 internships for the fall 2105 semester:

1. Archaeological Collections, involved with doucmenting the archaeological teaching collection

2. Database and Digital Documentation, assisting in the development of a database and digitization of documents from over 40 years of dive records.

3. Social Media/Public History, assisting in the development of the MRD’s social media platform.

Please send cover letter, CV, and a list of 3 references to Jessica Irin at irwinJA@sc.edu.  Course credit can be arranged via the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  Contact Dr. Qirko at qirkoh@cofc.edu.  See the attached flyer: MRD_2015_Internships_annoucment.

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Students working during the 2015 Lowcountry Field School. Photo: Charleston Museum

This summer’s field school collected data from several contexts within the Lowcountry.  Investigations included soundings at Rose and Hampton Plantations, and historic properties in the urban core of Charleston.  See the report from Martha Zierden at the Charleston Museum blog post for more details.

This story is reproduced from its original posting on the Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology blog .

 

The first two weeks of the archaeology field school were spent working at the site of the Rose Plantation, which is a part of a 600 acre property called the Dill Property on James Island owned by the Charleston Museum.  We were working in an area where old maps showed structures that were probably part of this plantation.  We found remains of some structures and many artifacts that seem to suggest that we found some of it.

Weeks 3-6 were spent mostly at Hampton Plantation State Historic Site north of Charleston near McClellanville, SC.  The field school has worked on this site before but not in this location which was in a large field south of the main plantation house.  Our most productive excavation units were located at the southern end of this field, and a considerable distance from the plantation house. These excavations were overseen by David Jones, who coordinates the archaeological program for the State Park Service to include research archaeology and protection of archaeological resources.  He was assisted by Stacy Young, who is an archaeologist contracted in the past to excavate part of the old slave residential area at this plantation.

During this period students also rotated through two sites in downtown Charleston to get a feel for urban archaeology, which produces a very different set of challenges.  One site was at 86 Church Street, owned by the parents of archaeologist, Martha Middleton.  It ended up being a 4 1/2 foot deep single excavation unit with a lot going on in it.   The second site was the historic Manigault House, owned by and located across from the Charleston Museum.  Excavations were done both in the basement and under the porch.

Historic artifacts were found in all these locations, but lab analysis will be required to determine what it all means.  At Hampton Plantation not enough colonoware (pottery commonly made by African slaves, and possibly also Native Americans) was found to suggest that the structure(s) we think we uncovered were those of Africans.  There was also no window glass that is usually found in European-style structures.  The Seewee Indians were also residents in the area during the colonial period, and our Hampton site  may have something to do with them.  Lab analysis and, hopefully, more field school research there in two years will be necessary to sort this out.

Students read 21 professional articles on various phases of archaeology, learned to identify about 80 kinds of historic ceramics used for dating purposes, and did additional written work in addition to learning fieldwork skills.

For photos of the 2015 Archaeology Field School, please check out the CofC Sociology and Anthropology Facebook page.

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