Investigation of a Slave Row at Spanish Wells Plantation: Archaeological Data Recovery at 38BU869, Spanish Pointe, HIlton Head Island, South Carolina


Data recovery excavations and archival research were conducted at site 38BU869, Spanish Pointe residential development tract, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The research was conducted to comply with federal, state, and Town of Hilton Head regulations regarding archaeological cultural resources. The site includes a former slave row of Spanish Wells Plantation and a Civil War picket post. The proposed development in the site area will include road construction and low density residential units. The work was conducted

in accordance with a Data Recovery Plan reviewed by and accepted by the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. The reported research at 38BU869 was one element of a Memorandum of Agreement between Asset Management Associates and the State Historic Preservation Office.

Archival research was undertaken to discover information concerning the owners of Spanish Wells. The field work entailed investigations at four loci: Locus A (Union picket shell mound), Locus B (downslope dump for slave row), Locus C (slave row), and Locus D (Union picket post).

The results of the field investigations and analyses suggest that Locus A was a small shell mound created as an element of a Union picket post. The mound was built of household refuse from the Locus C slave row. The mound yielded antebellum household items and Union issue material. It is hypothesized that the mound was created as some variation of a rifle pit.

Locus B proved to be the downslope dump for the Spanish Wells slave row. The

predominately kitchen refuse from Locus B dated to the nineteenth century, although the slave row was occupied in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It appears that a shift in refuse disposal patterns occurred in the early nineteenth century, perhaps in concordance with a period of slave row expansion.

Locus C included both dense midden and structural features from the eighteenth and nineteenth century slave row. The dateable features suggest that the slave row grew from a restricted core in the eighteenth century to a more linear, larger row in the early nineteenth century.

Locus D yielded numerous military and civilian artifacts of the Civil War period.

The military items were standard Union issue. It is suspected that Locus A and Locus D were both associated with a Union picket post/outlier of the nearby Battery Holbrook. Two possible post features were also documented in Locus D.

Cite this Record

Investigation of a Slave Row at Spanish Wells Plantation: Archaeological Data Recovery at 38BU869, Spanish Pointe, HIlton Head Island, South Carolina. Christopher Espenshade, David C. Jones, Marian D. Roberts, Eric C. Poplin, Connie Huddleston. Brockington and Associates, Inc. 1993 ( tDAR id: 391038) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8J9677B

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.832; min lat: 32.069 ; max long: -80.557; max lat: 32.338 ;

Record Identifiers

Brockington and Associates, Inc., report number(s): 0668


General Note: Curation facility: Coastal Discovery Museum of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

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