Southeastern Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology

August 24 and 25, 2012

Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Charleston, South Carolina

Every year Southeastern Historical Archaeologists present dozens of papers at the SHA, SEAC, SAA and state archaeological conferences, so why do we need another? Because generally these papers are overshadowed by the sheer volume of presentations at these venues or are otherwise presented at small conferences with a wide array of topics from prehistory and history. Indeed, the SHA conference this year featured over 800 individual papers and we are sure we all missed one or two we'd like to have seen. And as much as we'd like to see papers at state conferences, travel to all of them is prohibitive in terms of time and money. So a venue for us to communicate at a level that's bigger than our states, yet smaller and more intimate than a national conference is needed.

We hope to make this conference similar to Stan South's Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology, which he founded in the 1960s. This is not intended to be a conference in memory of Stan South's many great accomplishments, but in honor of him. The conference will be less formal than the SHA, and unlike SEAC, not focused on prehistory.

Although we are starting with a conference in Charleston, we hope to move this from state to state over the coming years. This year we hope to organize a group to facilitate this movement, and firmly establish the Conference as an annual event. We will not organize as a dues paying type group at this time, but will set aside time at the meeting for interested parties to meet and set an agenda for moving forward. The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism has generously offered to host this conference at their facility. Members of the South Carolina archaeological community as well as the Friends of Charles Town Landing State Park are teaming together to organize the events, assisted by the Charleston Museum, Historic Charleston Foundation, Drayton Hall Plantation, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, members of the Archaeological Society of South Carolina, and members of the Council of South Carolina Professional Archaeologists. This year only the Diachronic Research Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 organization, will manage the financial aspects of the event, pending organization of SECHSA as a free standing entity. All funds raised for this event will be the property of SECHSA.

Conference registration is $25 per person, $15 for students and seniors. Although you can register at the door, we would appreciate it if you would preregister by August 11th. We have three historic site tours available for those who are interested as well. You must pre-register for these tours by August 11th. More information and their cost are provided below. Also note the pre-conference RPA certified metal detecting workshop. Deadline to sign up for this workshop is July 22nd. Please send your registration form (name, organization, mailing address, and email address), along with a check to Carl Steen made out to Diachronic Research Foundation (SECHSA in memo line). Abstracts and a copy of your registration form should be emailed to Natalie Adams Pope at nadamspope@newsouthassoc.com. 

The Southeastern Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology

Registration Form



Address 1:

Address 2:

Address 3:

City, State, Zip:


Student (send copy of ID): ($15): ______

Regular: ($25): _____

Senior - 65+: ($15): _______

The Charleston Museum/Aiken-Rhett House Tour ($25): _______

The Walled City of Charleston Tour ($15): ______

Drayton Hall, NTHP Tour ($15): _____

Total Amount: __________

Please make your check out to the Diachronic Research Foundation and send to PO Box 50394, Columbia, SC 29250. Please put SECHSA in the memo section.


Since the conference is being held at Charles Towne Landing State Park, we do not have a sponsoring hotel. There are several inexpensive and decent hotels within 3 miles of the conference. Here are some examples of ones that are close by and won't break the bank: http://travela.priceline.com/hotel/POI-Charles_Towne_Landing_Charleston_South_Carolina_United_States-83691606.html

Preliminary Schedule

Pre-Conference Advanced Metal Detecting Course

The Continuing Education Program of the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA), the board of AMDA, and New South Associates are proud to announce that the course, Advanced Metal Detecting for the Archaeologist (AMDA), has been certified as a two-day, 16-credit offering. The RPA created the Continuing Education Program in recognition that archaeologists, like other professionals, benefit from ongoing training after completion of their academic degrees. For more information on the RPA program, please see http://rpanet.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=30 .

The AMDA course is designed to provide archaeologists with the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to assure best practices when applying metal detecting in archaeological research. The AMDA board includes Chris Espenshade, Dr. Terry Powis, Dr. Sheldon Skaggs, Dr. Doug Scott, Patrick Severts, and Garrett Silliman. New South Associates is the institutional sponsor. The course will be offered several times per year in various venues. Agencies interested in sponsoring a local offering of the course should contact Chris Espenshade at cespenshade@newsouthassoc.com.

The first course offering will be August 22 and 23, 2012, in Charleston, South Carolina. The local sponsor will be the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. The course will be on the two days prior to the Southeastern Conference on Historic Sites Archaeology. We encourage attendees of the course to stay for the Conference. Please contact Chris Espenshade for course registration information.

Pre-Conference Historic Site Tour - The Charleston Museum/Aiken-Rhett House
Thursday afternoon, August 23rd, 1:00-4:00 

The Charleston Museum is America’s oldest, founded in 1773.  The Museum preserves and interprets the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.  Since the 1970s, The Charleston Museum has been a leader in historical and urban archaeology, holding vast collections from both urban and rural sites. Archaeological materials are part of all permanent exhibitions. Curator Martha Zierden will lead a guided tour of the exhibit galleries, with a special viewing of artifacts from recent digs.

Historic Charleston Foundation's Aiken-Rhett house, one block from the Museum, stands alone as the most intact mansion and associated outbuildings showcasing urban life in antebellum Charleston. Built in 1820, the property was greatly expanded by Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s and 1850s.  A successful businessman, rice planter, distinguished politician and governor of South Carolina, William Aiken, Jr. was one of the state’s wealthiest citizens. Following a well-established tradition among Charleston’s elite, Governor Aiken and his wife, Harriet Lowndes Aiken, traveled in Europe and returned with magnificent fine art and furnishings. Today, visitors will find many of these objects in the same rooms for which they were purchased.  The property also includes the only preserved examples of urban slave quarters, as well as a full retinue of service buildings.  Curator Valerie Perry and archaeologist Martha Zierden will answer questions about archaeology after the self-guided audio tour. Please meet at the museum. Transportation to the museum is on your own. The museum has free parking in the John Street lot.


Friday, August 24th

8:00 – Registration Table Opens

9:00-9:10 –Welcome and Announcements – David Jones (SC Parks, Recreation, and Tourism)

9:10-9:30 – Historic Sites Archaeology: Then and Now– Stanley South, Carl Steen, and Natalie Adams Pope (SCIAA, Diachronic Research Foundation, and New South Associates)

Charleston Archaeology and Rural Comparisons

9:30-9:50 – Carol Colaninno-Meeks (Univ. of Georgia), Elizabeth Reitz (Univ. of Georgia), and Martha Zierden (The Charleston Museum)

The Lower Market and the Beef Market: Evidence for Provisioning Charleston, South Carolina.

9:50-10:10 – Brad Botwick (New South Associates)

Toys of Other Days: An Archaeological Collection from the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Charleston

10:10-10:30 – Eric Poplin (Brockington & Associates)

Combahee Ferry: Exploring the Role of Taverns in the Colonial and Antebellum Lowcountry

Break – 10:30-10:50

Industrial and Mill Village Archaeology

10:50-11:10 – Karen G. Wood and W. Dean Wood (Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc.)

That Dam Job on the Chattahoochee River

11:10-11:20 – Stacy Lundgren (Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, USFS)

Passport in Time at Scull Shoals Mill Village

11:20-11:40 – Keith Stephenson and George Wingard (Savannah River Archaeological Research Program)

Cottages for the Proletariat: Life and Labor on Blue Row in the Graniteville Textile Mill Village, 1850-1875

11:40-12:00 – Pat Garrow (Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.)

An Early Twentieth Century Ceramic Assemblage from a Burned House in Northern Georgia

Lunch – 12:00-1:30

Symposium: Historic Period Southern Potters: Current Research and Historical Context. Organized by Carl Steen (Diachronic Research Foundation)

1:30-1:50 – Ron Anthony (The Charleston Museum)

Historic Aboriginal Occupation at Stono Plantation: A Descriptive Summary

1:50-2:10 – J.W. Joseph (New South Associates)

Alkaline Glazed Pottery of the Southeastern U.S.: A Guide for Archaeologists

2:10-2:30 – George Wingard and Keith Stephenson  (Savannah River Archaeological Research Program)

Rural Life on the Aiken Plateau: Investigations at an Early 20th-Century Tenant Farm and the Stoneware of Enslaved African-American Potter-Poet Dave

2:30-2:50 – Carl Steen (Diachronic Research Foundation)

Alkaline Glazed Stoneware Origins

2:50-3:10– Chris Espenshade (New South Associates)

Regional Insight from a County-Wide Survey: Revisiting the Washington County Pottery Survey

Break – 3:10-3:30

Interpreting African-American Culture During the Postbellum Era

3:30-3:50 Valerie Davis (New South Associates)

From the Cradle to the Grave:  The Way of Life and Death at Avondale Burial Place, Bibb County, Georgia

3:50-4:10 – Hugh Matternes (New South Associates)

An Eternal Bed: Coffins and Caskets from the Avondale Burial Place

4:10-4:30 – Jodi Barnes (S.C. Dept. of Archives and History)

Fishing Weights, Earthenware Pots, and Turtle Soup: An Archaeology of Gullah Communities

4:30-4:50 – Natalie Adams Pope (New South Associates)

“We Made A Day”: the Interpretation of Tenancy at the L.E. Gay Plantation near Cuthbert, Georgia

4:50-5:10 – Sam Smith (Tennessee Division of Archaeology)

An Archaeological Survey of Tennessee’s Rosenwald School Sites

Closing Announcements and Updates

Saturday, August 25th


Carolina Interior Towns: Archaeology and Economic Networks

9:00-9:20 – Ken Lewis (Michigan State University)

How ‘Twas Done: Joseph Kershaw, the Rise of a Commercial Economy in South Carolina’s Backcountry, and Its Implications for Archaeology

9:20-9:40 – Roy Stine (UNC-Greensboro)

Geophysical Remote Sensing at the Colonial Town of Martinville, North Carolina

9:40-10:00 – Linda Stine (UNC-Greensboro)

Beyond the Battle:  Conceptualizing Martinville

Break 10:00-10:20

The Archaeology and Interpretation of 18th to Early 19th Century Plantations, Farmsteads, and Native American Settlements

10:20-10:40 – Sarah E. Cowie (Univ. of Nevada, Reno), Christopher LeBlanc (Univ. of Nevada, Reno), and Dean Wood (Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc.)

Culture Contact and Persistence: Intrasite Patterning at Late Lawson Field Phase Creek Sites in Georgia

10:40-11:00 – Rachel Tibbets (Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc.)

The Elusive Middle Class: An Early American Farmstead on the New River

11:00-11:20 – Bobby Southerlin (Archaeological Consultants of the Carolina, Inc.)

Archaeological Evaluation of the Rebecca Vaughan House Site

11:20-11:40 – Stacey Young (Independent Researcher)

Life and Work on the Plantation: Archaeological Investigations of a House at Hampton Plantation 

11:40-12:00 - Kelly Goldberg (Univ. of South Carolina)

Narratives of the Past: Positioning Modern Memory in a Historic Context

Lunch – 12:00-1:30

Symposium: An Archaeological Phoenix Slowly Ascending From The Ashes: New Explorations at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson 44 Years Since Stanley Went South (of the Border) – Organized by Thomas E. Beaman, Jr (Wake Technical Community College) and Shannon Walker (Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Park)

1:30-1:50 – Shannon Walker (Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Park)

Slowly Ascending From The Ashes: The Growth and Development of Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in the Post-Stanley South Era

1:50-2:10 – Jennifer L. Gabriel (East Carolina Univ.)

New Data, Old Methods:  The Rediscovery, Definition and Functional Analysis of the George Moore House at Colonial Brunswick Town

2:10-2:30 – Jim McKee  (Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Park) and Hannah Smith (East Carolina Univ.)

Reaching for the Channel: New Evidence of a Colonial Period Wharf at Port Brunswick

2:30-2:50 – Thomas E. Beaman, Jr. (Wake Technical Community College) and Vincent H. Melomo (William Peace Univ.)

“…a pretty good shanty with a chimney:” The “Peace-ful” Exploration of Civil War Barracks at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site

2:50-3:10 -  Daniel J. Polito (Appalachian State Univ.), Thomas E. Beaman, Jr. (Wake Technical Community College), and Vincent Melomo (William Peace Univ.)

The Concept and Methodology behind the 2011 Systematic Metal Detector Survey for Civil War Barracks at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site

3:30 – 3:30 – Thomas E. Beaman, Jr. (Wake Technical Community College), Kenneth W. Robinson (Archaeological and Historical Services), and John J. Mintz (North Carolina Office of State Archaeology)

A View from Within and Beyond Fort Anderson: The Archaeology of William T. Sherman’s Federal Invasion of the Cape Fear Region

Break: 3:30-3:50

Business Meeting: 3:50-4:50

Happy Hour? – 5 – 7 pm.


Locating the defensive works at St. Giles Kussoe: Magnetometer results from Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper’s Carolina plantation - Jon Bernard Marcoux (Auburn University, Montgomery) and Andrew Agha (Independent Researcher)

The Identity of a Plantation Structure: The Preliminary Analysis of an Early Structure at Mont Repose PlantationSt Luke’s Parish, Jasper County, South Carolina – Heather Amaral (Georgia Southern University)

A Monumental Legacy — Documenting South Carolina’s Inland Rice Fields - Joshua N. Fletcher, Charles F. Philips, Carol J. Poplin, and John Cason (Brockington and Associates, Inc.)

The Examination of an Ice House at Old Town Plantation– Elizabeth Gillespe (Georgia Southern Univ.)

Analysis of the Kitchen Structure At Mont Repose Plantation, Coosawatchie, South Carolina – Sue M. Moore (Georgia Southern Univ.)  

Making Geographic Cents – Amanda L. Morrow (Georgia Southern University)

“Rises in the Rice Fields”, Aerial LiDAR applications on Inland Rice Plantations contexts – Matthew Newberry (Georgia Southern University)

From Excavation to Exhibition: Unearthing Stories of the African Diaspora - Carol J. Poplin and John Cason (Brockington and Associates) 

Post-Conference Historic Site Tours - Sunday morning, August 26th

The Walled City of Charleston, 9:00-12:00

Charleston is the only British walled city in built North America.  A formal plan to enclose 62 acres of settlement within a brick and earthen fortification was launched in 1690 and realized by 1704.  The landward walls, likely of earth, were abandoned by the second quarter of the 18th century, but the massive brick seawall along East Bay Street remained intact through the Revolution.  Today, no above-ground traces remain.  Portions of the brick seawall were exposed in archaeological excavations in the 1920s, the 1960s, and in 2008.   Walled City Task Force members Katherine Pemberton (Historic Charleston Foundation) and Martha Zierden (The Charleston Museum) will lead a walk along portions of the city wall, exploring sites of archaeological excavation.  Then tour the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, built in 1771 on top of the Half-Moon battery, visible in the basement.  Complete the tour of the wall on your own, using the Walk the Walls self-guided brochure, stopping at the 1712 Powder Magazine museum. Information on where to meet will be provided soon. Transportation is on your own. There is parking at Historic Charleston Foundation on 40 East Bay Street where the tour will begin. There is also free parking along the battery.

Drayton Hall, NTHP, 9:00-12:00

Drayton Hall was a rice plantation and gentleman’s country seat, a military headquarters, a site for strip mining, and a country retreat before it became a historic site of the National Trust for Historic preservation.  Constructed from 1738, the house is first fully executed example of Palladian domestic architecture in the United States and, the only pre-Revolutionary house that remains in nearly original condition, and the only Ashley River Plantation structure to survive.  Since acquisition by the Trust in 1974, it has been a laboratory for continuous archaeological excavation and study.  Sarah Stroud (Archaeologist) and Carter Hudgins (Director of Preservation and Education) will guide you through the archaeology and the evolving interpretation of the house, outbuildings, grounds, and residents of Drayton Hall. Transportation to Drayton Hall for the tour is on your own.