Emergence and Evolution of a Colonial Urban Economy: Charleston, South Carolina


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Boxed but not Forgotten Redux or: How I Learned to Stop Digging and Love Old Collections" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

We explore the emergence and evolution of a colonial urban center from the perspective of its animal economy in order to clarify relationships between rural and urban societies and the impact of those relationships on colonial environments.The project expands upon long-term studies of the emerging commercial network of colonial Charleston, South Carolina, by merging geochemical analyses with archival, material culture, microbotanical, and zooarchaeological studies of legacy materials from functionally distinct nodes in the colony’s economy. Preliminary results of stable isotope analyses (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S, 87Sr/86Sr) of cattle teeth indicate that animals and animal products were from a range of sources within the evolving colonial distribution system, including both inland and coastal sources. Further, some cattle were free-ranged and others penned. Isotopic variation may reflect landscape modification (burning or manuring fields) and/or micro-environmental variations such as would be evidence for procuring cattle from distinct, but unspecified, rural sources.

Cite this Record

Emergence and Evolution of a Colonial Urban Economy: Charleston, South Carolina. Carla Hadden, John G. Jones, Sarah Platt, Laurie Reitsema, Elizabeth J. Reitz, Hayden Smith, Martha Zierden. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456873)


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 988