Ancestry and Heritage at a South Carolina Rice Plantation


During the 18th and 19th centuries, Georgetown County in South Carolina housed some of the largest slave plantations and rice agriculture in the New World. Today, the descendants of these enslaved laborers form the Gullah Geechee community and comprise a distinct African-derived creolized cultural praxis. This study concerns itself with the long-term trajectory of biological and cultural change experienced by the individuals living in the South Carolina Lowcountry. First, ancient DNA extraction and sequencing methods, population genomic models, and bioinformatic tools are used to link a group of 19th C enslaved laborers from Hagley Plantation, Georgetown county to populations in west, central, and east Africa. Then, the genetic analysis is contextualized within the cultural and social systems of the ancestral populations and the particular colonial regime operating at Hagley. Using a biocultural approach, this study aims for a better understanding of lineages severed by the transatlantic slave trade, the formation of new kinship and social networks under slavery, and conceptions of ancestry and heritage.

Cite this Record

Ancestry and Heritage at a South Carolina Rice Plantation. Kalina Kassadjikova, Kelly Harkins, Lars Fehren-Schmitz. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445317)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22680