When All You Have are Artifacts: Reassessing Intrinsic Issues in Assigning Cultural Identity to Artifact Assemblages in Colonial South Carolina

Summary

Just several years after the 1670 founding of Charles Towne, occupants of Barbados, England, and France seized opportunities for land and prosperity. By the 1680s, English settlers from Barbados began to settle the area along the Wando River, encroaching on land designated for the remaining indigenous population. Researchers and investigators examining archaeological sites do so with the aim to reconstruct the history about past landscapes.  Inherently, archaeologists assign cultural identity to a site based on artifact assemblages, features, and/or historical documentation.  However, allocating cultural specificity to any distinctive sets of material remains is problematic.  How do we as scholars differentiate and confidently attribute a group of artifacts an identity?  What makes a particular set of material culture African, English, or Barbadian? This paper addresses the theoretical and tangible issues intrinsic to archaeological inquiry using data recovery findings at 38BK2091, Rebellion Farms, in Berkeley County, South Carolina, as a case study. 

Cite this Record

When All You Have are Artifacts: Reassessing Intrinsic Issues in Assigning Cultural Identity to Artifact Assemblages in Colonial South Carolina. Jeremy C. Miller, Patrick H. Morgan, Aaron Brummitt, Quinn-Monique Ogden. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434800)

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Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 899