2020 South Carolina Archaeology Month

Due to the pandemic, this year’s Archaeology Month has gone virtual.

Despite the setbacks, we’re excited to offer an entire month of South Carolina Archaeology programming to celebrate this year’s original theme: Avocational Archaeology. Read on to learn more about the subject and make sure you visit our Facebook Page for all the latest.

What is Avocational Archaeology?

Avocational archaeologists are those who practice archaeology in whatever form during their spare time without personal income or profit.

Fuz Sanderson demonstrating fire making techniques at Fall Field Day 2017.

Interactive Story Map on Avocational Archaeology

We’re excited to announce our Story Map feature! This interactive page is the focal point of our Archaeology Month celebrations, providing everything from an introduction to avocational archaeology to stories about legendary individual figures who have made major contributions in the state of South Carolina!

Click here to visit now.

Special thanks to Katherine Parker for helping create this amazing feature for our 2020 celebrations.

The amateur archaeologist undertakes the study and execution of archeology, without embracing it as a profession.” – James Michie, 1968 SC Antiquities


Interested in learning more about archaeology and South Carolina archaeology? Visit these links for more information.

Avocational Archaeology Site Form

The South Carolina Avocational Site Database (SCASD) is a resource available to and designed for avocational archaeologists. The program was developed based on discussions among avocational, professional, academic, non-profit and for-profit organizations and private individuals in the South Carolina archaeological community. The avocational site form was developed to encourage public reporting of archaeological sites and artifacts, and to encourage collaboration and information sharing between professional and public interests in archaeology. The form can be found here.

Virtual Events Around South Carolina

Drayton Hall 
Archaeology Month Kickoff: Colonoware
October 1, 2020, 5:00 PM

For Archaeology Month, Drayton Hall will host a series of webinars focusing on different artifact types that archaeologists recover from excavations at the site. Wexler Curatorial Fellow, Corey Sattes, kicks off this series with a discussion of colonoware, a type of pottery made locally by enslaved Africans, free and enslaved Native Americans, and their descendants beginning in the colonial period and through the mid-19th century. 

Part 3: Who was Enslaved at Drayton Hall?
October 8, 20, 5:00 PM

In part 3 of the webinar series, Curator Amber Satterthwaite will share more details about the enslaved community at Drayton Hall based on her research into the diaries of Charles Drayton and other supporting documents. This program will explore material culture associated with enslaved individuals in the diaries as well as archaeological artifacts and how all of this information provides greater insight into the lives of the men, women, and children who lived at Drayton Hall and on other properties.

The 1619 Project at Jamestown
October 15, 2020, 5:00 pm 

Join Drayton Hall’s archaeologists for a virtual visit from Dave Givens of Jamestown Rediscovery Project to discuss the 1619 Project at historic Jamestown. This presentation highlights the latest work of the Rediscovery team – the excavations in the 1617 church, where Virginia’s first General Assembly met in 1619. The discussion will include the search to identify a high-status individual and the efforts to commemorate the space in 2019.

USC Lancaster, Native American Studies Center
Columbus Day Controversy Panel Discussion and Press Conference
October 12, 2020, 12 PM – 1:30 PM

USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center will host a virtual press conference and panel discussion on the growing controversy over Columbus Day celebrations and Columbus statues. Pre-registration for this Zoom event is required. Registrants will receive the Meeting ID and Passcode 24 hours before the event. To register, send an email to usclnasp@mailbox.sc.edu.

New South Associates
Coffee with an Archaeologist: “Mortuary Archaeology” with Dr. Matt Matternes
October 14, 2020, 11:00 AM

New South Associates and the USA Archaeology Museum are collaborating to bring New South’s Dr. Matt Matternes to talk about mortuary archaeology on October 14th. Registration for this free virtual talk begins on October 1st.

Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival
Arkhaios 2020 Virtual Edition
October 5 – October 11, 2020

The 8th annual free film festival will be held virtually this year. Arkhaios is an educational event to showcase the discovery of past cultures gained from ethnological or archaeological research, and illustrated by documentary films. The festival will present films from around the world, half of them for the first time in the USA! You can watch each film, one time, at your convenience throughout the week of the festival.