Data Recovery Investigations in the Marsh Lots of the Callawassie Burial Mound and Village Site (38BU19), Callawassie Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina
Site 38BU19 is a large prehistoric site located on Callawassie Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. The two most pronounced features of 38BU19 is a burial mound and numerous shell middens scattered across the site; it has been assumed that the shell middens represent the remains of an associated village. The research potential of the site has been recognized for over 100 years, and the site has been recommended as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, at the national level of significance.
Several archaeological investigations have been conducted on various portions of 38BU19, including partial excavation of the mound itself. The field excavations and analyses discussed in this report focus on the portion of 38BU19 north of the burial mound, on the north side of Spring Island Drive; this area is referred to as the Marsh Lots. The Callawassie Development Corporation, in conjunction with the State Historic Preservation Office and Brockington and Associates, Inc., promoted a data recovery plan at 38BU19 that has incorporated archaeological research, preservation, and educational outreach.
A preliminary assessment of 38BU19 identified 21 discrete shell midden loci; on the north side of Spring Island Drive and on the south side. The data recovery excavations discussed in this report focused on five midden loci (Middens 14, 15, 16, 17, and 20) on the north side of Spring Island Drive.
The research orientation addressed a number of topics dealing with site occupational chronology, site layout as evidenced through cultural features, ritual and communal activities, subsistence activities, craft specialization, and vessel assemblage characterizations. One of the important findings of this research is that early assessments of 38BU19 as a Woodland mound and village needs revising. Diagnostic ceramics indicate relatively significant Early Woodland (Deptford) and Mississippian (Irene) as phase components at the northern part of the site. This indicates that the site boundaries include multiple occupations dating from different prehistoric periods. Thus, the large site boundary is not viewed as the result of contemporaneous occupations in a village setting, but rather a conglomeration of various occupations spanning up to 2,000 years.
One of the objectives of the field investigations was to identify structural features and patterns; unfortunately, none were identified. This may be because of on site disturbances which have obliterated these patterns, or it may be that prehistoric construction techniques were such that little subsurface patterning would be evident.
Another goal of the investigation at 38BU19' was to provide the general public with an awareness of the significance of the archeological potential at 38BU19. A series of public seminars Another goal of the investigation at 38BU19' was to provide the general public with an awareness of the significance of the archeological potential at 38BU19. A series of public seminars was given at the Callawassie Club House, with Mr. Espenshade and Mr. Southerlin as speakers. The seminars were advertised in the local newspaper and non-Callawassie residents were invited to attend. The seminars were videotaped and will be made available for viewing by interested parties by the Callawassie Development Corporation. Personnel from a local educational television channel (WJWJ) from Beaufort visited the site and filmed in-progress excavations. This was aired several times during that week as part of local news broadcasts. A strong emphasis was also placed on getting the public directly involved with the archaeological investigation at 38BU19. Visitors to the site were welcomed and every effort was made to answer their questions about the site and archaeology in general. A number of individuals even braved the heat and insects to volunteer their services in the field.
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Cite this Record
Data Recovery Investigations in the Marsh Lots of the Callawassie Burial Mound and Village Site (38BU19), Callawassie Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Bobby G. Southerlin, Dawn Reid, Christopher T. Espenshade, Thomas W. Neumann, Gary Crites. Brockington and Associates, Inc. 1998 ( tDAR id: 391048) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81G0N48
Calendar Date: 655 to 1535
min long: -80.749; min lat: 32.263 ; max long: -80.5; max lat: 32.481 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Principal Investigator(s): Bobby G. Southerlin
Landowner(s): Callawassie Development Corporation
Sponsor(s): Callawassie Development Corporation
Submitted To(s): South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
Brockington and Associates, Inc., report number(s): 0477
General Note: Curation facility: Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island.
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