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Preparing for the Unpredictable: When Research Questions and the Unknown Collide

Author(s): Nicole Isenbarger

Year: 2014

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When we sat down to write the research questions that would guide our excavations at the slave village of former Dean Hall Plantation, located near Charleston, South Carolina, we knew there were anomalies we had never seen before in the Colono Wares found when the site was discovered. However, as the excavations unfolded, the artifacts being recovered not only solidified our hunch that we had one of the most unique Colono Ware assemblages ever found in America, but proved that our research design, although substantial, was being dwarfed by the magnitude of the material culture. Even though we believed our questions were cutting edge, the artifacts left us speechless. This paper discusses the role our question asking played in the investigations of this unique slave village, and how the beyond amazing material culture both supported answers and pushes the envelope for future studies on similar sites.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable: When Research Questions and the Unknown Collide. Nicole Isenbarger. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436890)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-35,11

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America