Plantations Without Pillars: Archaeology, Wealth, and Material Life at Bush Hill Volume 1 Context and Interpretation


"The results of archaeological investigations conducted at Bush Hill plantation (site 38AK660) by personnel with the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program are summarized in the following monograph. Bush Hill plantation is located near Upper Three Runs Creek in Aiken County, South Carolina on the Savannah River Site, a nuclear research facility operated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Data recovery excavations were conducted at the site between 1996 and 1999 in response to the development of the Three Rivers Regional Landfill and Technology Center. Occupied between circa 1807 and 1920, the site, containing the archaeological remains of a planter’s dwelling and houselot, was owned by four generations of the George Bush lineal family. The enslaved residents of Bush Hill plantation raised livestock and produced numerous subsistence crops as well as cotton. To date, Bush Hill is the only antebellum plantation on the Savannah River Site, or in the surrounding middle Savannah River valley, that has been the subject of data recovery excavations. Consequently, the archaeology conducted at the site is significant because it provides important information regarding the material conditions experienced by a 19th-century planter family in the region."

Cite this Record

Plantations Without Pillars: Archaeology, Wealth, and Material Life at Bush Hill Volume 1 Context and Interpretation. Melanie A. Cabak, Mark D. Groover, Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, SCIAA, Charlie Tope. Savannah River Archaeological Research Papers ,11. Columbia, South Carolina: Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, SCIAA. 2004 ( tDAR id: 391319) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8RN394T

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.251; min lat: 33.2 ; max long: -81.185; max lat: 33.848 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, SCIAA; Jonathan Leader; South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina

Contributor(s): Mark D. Groover; Dennis Ryan; Bruce E. Rippeteau; Jonathan Leader; Mark Brooks; Richard Brooks; David C. Crass; Kenneth E. Sassaman; Monica Beck; Farrah Brown; Sally Brown; Christine Crabtree; Tammy Forehand; J. Christopher Gillam; Mary M. Inkrot; George Lewis; Patrick Lowe; Judd Marrs; Bruce Penner; Keith Stephenson; Kristin Wilson; George Wingard; Kevin Eberhard; Adrienne DeBiase; Joey Smith; Jill Trefz; Patrick Brown; John Huffman; Larry Potter; Lois Potter; Elizabeth Scott; Dean Scott; Sam Smith; Charlie Tope; Shirley Hightower; Dennis Hendrix

Field Director(s): Melanie A. Cabak


General Note: "A detailed case study of Bush Hill plantation, a prosperous plantation in Aiken County, South Carolina, was presented in this monograph. Several themes were explored in this research report. Foremost, this study critically evaluated stereotypes regarding material life among planters on southern plantations. Further, at the site level, archaeological investigations at Bush Hill examined the relationship between wealth and material culture within a lineal planter family. Archaeological data also provided insight into land use changes among the Bush family. A regionally based research design for plantation archaeology was also proposed in this study."

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Contact(s): Jonathan Leader