2018 Conference Program

Program for the 44th Annual Conference of the
Archaeological Society of South Carolina
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Gambrell Hall, Room 153, University of South Carolina, Columbia

Photo by the Society for Georgia Archaeology

Abby the ArchaeoBus will be open to the public
from 9 AM to 5 PM in front of Gambrell Hall!

Morning Session 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

8:00 Registration

8:30 Welcome and Introduction
President Chan Funk

8:40 Recent Investigations at the Pockoy Shell Rings (38Ch2533), Pockoy Island, Charleston County
Thaddeus G. Bissett, Northern Kentucky University
Michael Russo, Southeast Archaeological Center
Sean G. Taylor, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Martin P. Walker, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Pockoy Shell Rings (38CH2533) were identified in early 2017 using LiDAR data of the South Carolina coastline. In July of 2017, archaeologists from Northern Kentucky University, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service’s Southeast Archaeological Center, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, conducted preliminary investigations at the rings. The results indicate the rings to be previously undisturbed, although ongoing shoreline loss is currently eroding Pockoy 1. Radiocarbon dates indicate that ring to be the oldest dated South Carolina shell ring. The discovery of the rings, and results of the July fieldwork, are discussed in this paper.

9:00 How Many Pots on a South Carolina Shell Midden? Experiments in the Use of pXRF to Calculate MNV
Sydney James, Coastal Carolina University
Carolyn Dillian, Coastal Carolina University

Excavations at a prehistoric shell midden site in Horry County, South Carolina, have yielded high counts of Hanover ware pottery sherds, but smaller sherd counts of Thoms Creek pottery at deeper stratigraphic levels. How intensive was this Thoms Creek occupation? Do these Thoms Creek sherds represent a single pot or multiple pots? There are many ways in which ceramic sherds are quantified. Some researchers present a raw sherd count, others present ceramics by weight, and still others present counts of rim vs. body sherds. The ultimate goal of these quantifications, however, is to determine how many vessels were discarded within the site, a count often summarized as Minimum Number of Vessels (MNV). However, for prehistoric pottery in much of the Americas, this is difficult, and MNV calculations may vastly over- or under-estimate the real number of ceramic pots within a site. We experimentally test an alternative method for calculating MNV that incorporates geochemical analyses using X-ray florescence spectrometry.

9:20 Hardin Hafted Biface Technology in South Carolina and Across the Eastern United States
Joseph E. Wilkinson, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Hardin, a rare hafted biface type in South Carolina, is examined and discussed as it has been observed in the state. Its technological relationships with other Early Archaic technologies, and its proposed temporal placement are presented. This paper further discusses patterning of the Southern Hardin across the South Carolina landscape, and how these observations fit with patterning observed across the broader Eastern United States.

9:40 The Mack Point: More Than a South Carolina Projectile Point Type
Albert C. Goodyear, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Mack point as a projectile point type in South Carolina has been recognized since the early 1980s. It derives its name from the Mack site, 38OR67, a stratified prehistoric site located on the North Edisto. The site was excavated over a three year period as a project of the ASSC led by Jim Michie, Bob Parler and Sammy Lee. Mack points, large stemmed hafted bifaces, were associated there with Thoms Creek pottery as reported by the project leaders in conference and newsletter presentations. Tommy Charles observed them in private collections referring to them as Type G. In the years subsequent they were excavated from a Thoms Creek site at the Fish Dam Ford site along the Broad River in Union County. A comprehensive statistical description of them has not been done before which includes both Allendale-type Coastal Plain chert and metavolcanic rhyolitic examples. An important feature of the metavolcanic Macks is their occurrence in caches. These would include biface blanks as well as points. In contrast, no Coastal Plain chert Macks have thus far been seen in caches. A large percentage of metavolcanic Macks are made from flow banded rhyolite thought to have been procured from quarries at Morrow Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Some type of exchange system is implied for such long distance transport. Also a few metavolcanic Macks appear to be hypertrophic suggesting symbolic meanings apart from simply subsistence uses. Given the relationship between South Carolina Thoms Creek peoples and rhyolite quarries in North Carolina, an Early Woodland transregional exchange system is implied.

10:00 Ground and Drilled Stone Gorgets from the Johannes Kolb (38DA75) and Savannah Edge Sites (38DA105)
Christopher Judge, Native American Studies Center, University of South Carolina, Lancaster

The recovery of several gorgets at both the Johannes Kolb Site (38DA75) and nearby Savannah Edge Site (38DA105) has prompted this author to conduct some preliminary research to try to understand their time frame and geographic range. Stone gorgets have been recovered from Late Archaic through Middle Woodland sites throughout many parts of the Eastern United States. Gorgets have been found in a variety of contexts including rockshelters, mounds, open sites, middens and from human burials. Often they are ground, polished, drilled, notched and some are incised with designs. Some gorgets exhibit signs of intentional destruction and recycling, redrilling and repurposing post- breakage. This paper provides and overview of thoughts about gorget function, their distribution across South Carolina, and thoughts about their role in prehistoric societies. Further work is planned for synthesizing what is currently known about the “So-Called Gorgets,” in an effort to better understand the significance of the Kolb and Savannah Edge site gorgets.

10:20 Form Follows Function: Some Insights Gleaned from Analysis of Selected Small Lithic Tools
Robert C. Costello, Division of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, USC, Sumter
Kenneth E. Steffy, Independent Researcher, Archaeological Society of South Carolina

In this presentation we share some of the investigators’ ongoing explorations of form-function relationships occurring in the process of analyzing lithic artifacts. Among the selected artifacts to be discussed is a rhyolite multi-lunate tool from the Mayesville 3 site in Sumter County plus two tools from Lake Marion, Clarendon County, South Carolina: a metavolcanic backed knife from Little Persanti Island and a small Allendale/Brier Creek chert Waller knife from N of Hickory Top Landing. Ideas concerning the primitive technological context of these tools involving their relationships to non-lithic materials also will be presented.

10:40 The Woodland to Mississippian Transition: Updates on the Late Precontact Occupations at the Topper Site (38AL23), Allendale, SC
Martin P. Walker, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Megan Belcher, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Cayla C. Colclasure, University of Alabama
Kathryn McKenna, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
David G. Anderson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Three field seasons directed towards the extensive Precontact occupations at the Topper Site (38AL23) have documented hundreds of features and a rich material record including pipe fragments, dog remains, and dominated by cross cord marked pottery, small triangular arrow points, and the widespread presence of maize. What was occurring on the site and when it occurred is the subject of a suite of specialized analyses, and are helping reshape thinking about late prehistoric occupations in the central Savannah River Valley, and on a site formerly best known for its extensive Paleoindian archaeological record.

11:00 Native American Archaeology of Hitchcock Woods: Results of the 2015-2017 Phase 1 Archaeological Survey
Bobby Southerlin, Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc.

An intensive Phase 1 archaeological survey was conducted at Hitchcock Woods, an urban park in Aiken, South Carolina. The survey resulted in the identification and evaluation of 105 archaeological sites. Of these, 61 sites had Native American components. Artifact assemblages from sites with Native American components range from a single artifact to hundreds of artifacts with considerable diversity. Diagnostic artifacts indicate that Native Americans were present in Hitchcock Woods for approximately 10,000 years, from the late Paleoindian through Mississippian periods. The Native American archaeological sites at Hitchcock Woods provide information about human settlement on the Aiken Plateau region of the Carolina Sandhills prior to contact with Europeans. Aspects of site and component distributions, raw material preferences, and other aspects of the Native American settlement patterns are discussed.

11:20 History and Industry in the Hitchcock Woods
Carl Steen, Diachronic Research Foundation

In 1825 the area around modern day Aiken, SC was uninhabited, for the most part. Ten years later a railroad had been built, a station established, and a town formed. The Hitchcock Woods property on the outskirts of town was assembled after the Civil War when wealthy Northerners purchased the land to preserve it for hunting and horseback riding. Before that there were small farms, at least two sawmills, turpentiners, clay miners and potters. In the 1890s a brick factory was established and abandoned before it and the land surrounding it were incorporated into Hitchcock Woods. In this paper the use of the land for purposes that were out of the mainstream of rural agrarian lifeways will be discussed.

11:40 Early Railroading in the Hitchcock Woods
Howard Wayt, Friends of the Aiken Depot

The Charleston to Hamburg route of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Co. (SCCRR), at one hundred twenty six miles, was by far the longest railroad in the world when it was completed in 1833. This railroad, built for the purpose of diverting the business of Augusta, GA to Charleston, SC and away from rival Savannah, GA, would pioneer railroading for the South, the rest of United States, and the world as a whole. One significant feature of this railroad was a singular double-tracked Inclined Plane, where railroad cars would be raised and lowered into a valley by a stationary steam engine. The location and operation of this Inclined Plane would prompt the establishment of the town of Aiken, SC by the SCCRR. Several miles of this railroad, including much of the Inclined Plane, are now encompassed within the Hitchcock Woods. This paper will present a brief synopsis of the history of railroading in the US and of the SCCRR, and the significance of several SCCRR-related artifacts that have recently been discovered within the Hitchcock Woods.

12:00 Award Presentations

12:15 Lunch Break

Afternoon Session 1:30 to 6:00 PM

1:30 Unlocking the Locks – Phase 1
Drew Ruddy, South Carolina Artifact Documentation Project

The year 1800 saw the opening of the Santee Canal, the first summit canal in the United States. For the next 50 years this waterway played a significant role in the transportation system of developing South Carolina. This talk will briefly explore the canal history and review archaeology of the construction of Locks 1, 2, 3, and 11. It will also reveal work conducted in 2017 during which the 6 locks submerged under Lake Moultrie have been located and dived.

1:50 An Assessment of the Use of LiDAR in Locating Tar and Pitch Production Sites in Francis Marion National Forest
Luan Cao, Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc.
Bobby Southerlin, Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc.

In 2010 Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc., conducted tour first survey in Francis Marion National Forest. The survey of the 2162 acres of the Macedonia Analysis Area (Part 1) was conducted using standard survey procedures, but without the use of LiDAR. The survey resulted in the identification of 63 archaeological resources, three of which were tar and pitch production sites. Several years later we used LiDAR to re-examine the project area and found that although three tar and pitch production sites were recorded, eight were missed. This raised questions about how well tar and pitch production sites had been found on surveys prior to the use of LiDAR. Using LiDAR imagery, we examined several survey areas examined by other CRM firms prior to the use of LiDAR in Francis Marion National Forest, then tabulated the number of tar and pitch production sites found and missed. The result of this exercise is discussed.

2:10 Field Slave Quarters Discovered at Historic Brattonsville Plantation, York County, SC
Gregory M. Lamb, Winthrop University
J. Christopher Gillam, Winthrop University

The 2017 field investigations by Winthrop University identified the location of previously unknown field slave quarters at Historic Brattonsville in York County, SC, a significant Piedmont plantation on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally designed to test a peripheral wooded area of the plantation for antebellum brick production activities due to a large stack of historic bricks nearby, the recovery of ceramics and other household items soon revealed the actual function of the site as domestic quarters for field slaves of the Bratton family. In all, 48 50x50cm shovel test pits revealed ceramics ranging from late-18th century Creamware to late-19th century Whiteware and Ironstone, with a preliminary mean ceramic date of 1848. That estimate correlates well with increasing slave ownership in the mid-19th century, from 40 slaves in 1827 to 152 slaves by 1861. Large footing stones and low density brick scatters were also identified along the ridge top, suggesting a row of slave quarters once stood above the intermittent stream feeding Williamson’s Creek, a few hundred meters northwest of the main plantation. With a growing emphasis on slave culture at this popular SC historic destination, the location of the field slave quarters will play an important role in public education and outreach at Historic Brattonsville in the near future.

2:30 The Future of South Carolina Archaeology: The Role of Large Scale Data Management
David G. Anderson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Thaddeus G. Bissett, Northern Kentucky University
Martin Walker, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Stephen J. Yerka, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, THPO
Eric C. Kansa, The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context
Sarah Whitcher Kansa, The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context
D. Shane Miller, Mississippi State University
Joshua J. Wells, Indiana University, Bloomington
J. Christopher Gillam, Winthrop University
Albert C, Goodyear, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, USC
Andrew A White, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, USC

The southeastern archaeological record includes hundreds of thousands of sites with extensive associated field notes, photographs, reports, and collections. Finding and using these data for research, resource management, and public education is a major challenge facing the profession. While some states, like South Carolina, have done a superb job of compiling and integrating these records, integration at larger geographic scales has rarely occurred. Databases like PIDBA, the Paleoindian Database of the Americas, is one example of research at large scales, and South Carolina scholars have worked with and contributed to this project for many years. The Digital Index of North American Archaeology, or DINAA (http://ux.opencontext.org/archaeology-site-data/) is another emerging solution to the challenge, and stands as a positive example of multi-organizational collaboration facilitating access to heritage data from multiple sources and data sets. DINAA has been used to document how projected sea level rise within the coming century, as well as in the centuries after, will result in the loss of a substantial portion of the record of both pre-Contact and historic human habitation of the coastal margin of the Southeast. The South Carolina archaeological record will be strongly impacted by sea level rise in the years to come, suggesting planning and research should include a much greater emphasis on documenting the coastal record, before it is lost.

2:50 The Society Turns 50: Working to Educate and Preserve South Carolina’s Archaeological Heritage Since 1968
Christopher Judge, Native American Studies Center, University of South Carolina, Lancaster
W. Brent Burgin, Native American Studies Center, University of South Carolina, Lancaster

3:10 History of the Hilton Head Chapter
George Stubbs, Hilton Head Chapter

3:30 History of the Foothills Chapter
Lamar Nelson, Foothills Chapter

3:50 Fifty Years in Avocational Underwater Archaeology
Drew Ruddy, South Carolina Artifact Documentation Project

As a newly certified diver in the late 1960s and a charter member of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina, my colleagues and I have participated in various projects involving South Carolina antiquities over the subsequent 50 years. This talk will briefly reflect on memories of experiences as the South Carolina archaeological field has evolved from friendly gatherings of a few professionals and amateur enthusiasts, on one Friday night a month into the digital age.

4:10 Dear Sister: Postcards from the Society for Georgia Archaeology
Rita Folse Elliott, LAMAR Institute

An overview and summary of The Society for Georgia Archaeology also highlighting some commonality between her sister organization, the Archaeological Society of South Carolina

4:30 Business Meeting

5:00 Keynote Presentation

Emerging from Swamps Deemed Impassable: Archaeological Discovery of the Revolutionary War Battle of Purysburg, South Carolina
Rita Folse Elliott, LAMAR Institute
Daniel T. Elliott, LAMAR Institute

The now quiet community of Purysburg, South Carolina, hides a tumultuous past, serving in 1779 as the Patriot Headquarters of Major General Benjamin Lincoln and over 3,500 infantry, Continental, militia, naval, and artillery soldiers. Purysburg’s strategic location on the Savanah River near key towns in Colonial Georgia and South Carolina made it a pivotal troop and supply line throughout the backcountry. The British victory at the Battle of Purysburg on April 29, 1779 fueled the newly adapted British strategy to win the American Revolution by shifting to the southern theater of the war. 235 years later, archaeologists with the LAMAR Institute strategized to research and locate the battle through a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant. We invite you to revisit the battle with us and learn how archaeologists used LiDAR, controlled metal detector survey, ground penetrating radar survey, GIS, and historical research to find the battlefield in the pine barrens of Jasper County, to identify specific skirmishes within the battlefield, to locate defensive works and associated encampments, to uncover a few surprises, and ultimately, to reveal a revolution.