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New Leadership for Archaeology

By James Newhard
Posted on 30 June 2017 | 4:00 pm — 

The Archaeology Program is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Director. As of July 1, Dr. Scott Harris will be Director of Archaeology.

Dr. Harris received a PhD in geology from the University of Delaware and is a specialist in paleo-landscape evolution, primarily within coastal plain and contintental shelf environments. His most recent research has taken him to spaces off of the coast of the US southeast and Greece (the latter for which he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship).

He follows James Newhard, who has served as Director of Archaeology since the inception of the major in 2013. Dr. Newhard steps down in order to more fully devote time to his responsibilities as interim Chair of the Department of Classics and as the Director of the newly-created Center for Historical Landscapes.

We wish Dr. Harris the best of good fortune, and thank Dr. Newhard for his years of service.

Charleston Lowcountry Field School Underway

By James Newhard
Posted on 16 June 2017 | 4:11 am — 

After a few weeks at Hampton Plantation, the team turns to possibly exploring the Revolutionary War siege of Charleston.

Student Awarded Fellowship to Turkey

By James Newhard
Posted on 14 March 2016 | 3:31 pm — 

blue_mosqueCongratulations to Brenna Knippen, who has been awarded a fellowship to the intensive advanced Turkish program of the American Research Institute in Turkey.  This is a nationally competitive program funded by the United States Department of Education, and is limited to 10 students who have demonstrated a knowledge of Turkish at the advanced intermediate level.

 

The fellowship provides round-trip airfare to Istanbul, application/tuition fees, and a stipend.

Excavations at Dixie Plantation in May 2016

By James Newhard
Posted on 8 February 2016 | 9:21 pm — 

For those interested in getting some archaeological experience and being a member of the research team at Dixie Plantation, Dr. Maureen Hays will be offering ANTH493 Field School in Archaeology (4 credits) in Maymester this year (May 16th to May 31st).

This course fulfills the Anthropology major Research Methods requirement and the Capstone requirement for the Archaeology major/minor.

ANTH202 is the prerequisite (or permission of Instructor).  If you have taken ANTH202 students will be able to sign up for the course when summer registration opens.  If students have not taken ANTH202 but really want to learn something about archaeology, send Dr. Hays an email requesting permission.

The property is owned by the College of Charleston Foundation and located in Hollywood, SC (about 40 minutes from downtown Charleston). Dixie Plantation has a long occupational history (both historic and prehistoric). Focus this summer will be on the early colonial occupation of the site (1700-1750).

The project is co-directed by Dr. Maureen Hays (College of Charleston) and Dr. Kim Pyszka (Auburn University at Montgomery).

For more detail, please see attached.

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.

http://www.charlestonmuseum.org/news-events/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_4651.jpg

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.

Original posting: http://today.cofc.edu/2015/05/01/discovery-of-rare-key-helps-unlock-dixie-plantations-storied-past/

1 May 2015 | 12:00 pmBy:
Contact: Maureen Hays, associate dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, 843.953.0760

Senior Ben Widder  was participating in an archeological field school at Dixie Plantation when he discovered a key dating to the early 1700s.

Some archaeologists dig for years before unearthing a significant artifact.

But College of Charleston student Ben Widder had a bit of beginner’s luck during an archaeology dig last year at the College’s Dixie Plantation, located along the Stono River near Hollywood, S.C.

The senior anthropology major and archaeology minor was participating in his first archaeological field school when he unearthed a key dating to the early 1700s.

“I was using my trowel and I heard the clink of metal hitting metal,” recalls Widder. “I scraped around it pretty quickly when the ring of the key became exposed, and seconds later the tip of the trowel lifted the ring up, exposing the rest of the key.”

“I found a key!” Widder shouted, as his classmates and professor came running.

Maureen Hays, professor of anthropology and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, says the key was probably made before 1707 when a parsonage house for Saint Paul’s Church was constructed on the property. American Indian groups burned the parsonage during the Yamasee War (1715-1717).

“I believe this is a rare find,” says Hays, who is co-director of the archaeological field school along with Kim Pyszka ’92, an assistant professor of anthropology at Auburn University at Montgomery.

The key before it was restored by the Charleston Museum.

Occupied for thousands of years, the site of what is now Dixie Plantation is historically, archaeologically and ecologically significant. The 881-acre property was bequeathed to the College of Charleston Foundation in 1995 by the late conservationist, ornithologist, and artist John Henry Dick.

In recent years, archaeologists digging at Dixie have discovered hundreds of artifacts, including ceramic sherds, tobacco pipe stems and a Spanish coin.

Archeologists have also located the foundation of the old parsonage house. And now, thanks to Widder’s discovery, they have a key associated with the parsonage.

But finding the key was only the first step. The ferrous artifact was heavily oxidized and required months of careful restoration at the hands of archaeologists from the Charleston Museum.

The key after restoration using electrolysis.

Ron Anthony, one of the museum archaeologists who restored the key using electrolysis, has been teaching at the College as an adjunct professor since 1990.

“It’s a process whereby chlorides locked within the artifact are purged from the artifact via electricity or chemical means,” explains Anthony. “This is a common, safe way to conserve any metal artifact which oxidizes.”

As for Widder, he was just happy to be the one to make the discovery. “If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else. I just happened to be assigned to that spot.”

 

This story is reproduced from its original posting the School of Science and Mathematics blog 

Dr. Harris’ core research will allow for quantitive and qualitative analysis of coastal change in response to varied sea-level rise scenarios across a complex landscape in the North Euboean Gulf of Central Greece. Data gathered, analyzed, and interpreted through this project will also inform several major Bronze Age archaeological sites about their submerged paleolandscapes along the Southwestern edge of the gulf. The research site covers the marine portions of the ancient sites of Kynos, Mitrou, and Halai and from modern Arkitsa to the Theologos Peninsula about two hours north of Athens. The derived scientific products and interpretations will not only inform the maritime aspects of the terrestrial sites, but will also assist in the identification of submerged sites before, during and after the significant periods of seafaring in the Bronze Age along this major seaway. While many studies of the submerged portions of Greece focus strictly on submerged cities, specific shipwrecks, or the deep sea, this collaborative project will form a coherent regional investigation focused on paleolandscapes and coastal changes throughout antiquity. The broader context of the study will influence disciplinary thoughts on the preservation of ancient landscapes, of coastal deposits, and of submerged archaeological sites along an important ancient maritime seaway.

Submerged paleolandscGreece 2apes hold a record of antiquity that informs us about past coastal conditions and human adaptations. Understanding the influence of how variable local sea-level changes have influenced the preservation potential of submerged coastal systems is crucial to understanding these interactions. Working with host faculty and two other Greek universities, we will map the seafloor between Theologos and Arkitsa Greece to answer questions of preservation potential in a natural experiment of differential sea-level change in this actively tectonic and rich Bronze Age maritime region.   The scholar will bring expertise in coastal dynamics and advanced seafloor mapping techniques while the host institution provides expertise in understanding ancient sea-level histories in this region.

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