Title

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Erosion’s Impact on Late-Archaic Southeastern United States Shell Rings

School Name

Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

I worked with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust Archaeologists on a Late Archaic period shell ring on Edisto Island. I completed punch tests along marked lines of a gridded map to determine how deep the shell ring reached into the earth. I kicked a pointed rod into the earth and measured the difference in height from entering and exiting the shell layers to determine the depth or height of the shell ring. Every fifth punch test included a shovel test, so a shovel would pierce the earth and remove the contents to examine for accuracy of punch readings and possible trends in artifacts. One hypothesis is that part of this shell ring was used as a workshop to make and repair tools for the people who lived there. Another section of the shell ring contained a high concentration of carved bone pins and other rarer artifacts, indicating that part of the shell ring was probably used for ceremonial purposes. The possibility of sections of purpose of the shell ring is a new discovery. These sections give the idea that the shell rings might have been divided into a village of sorts with each section dedicated to a different purpose. This is a new theory that will lead to yet more research and data collection.

Location

Neville 110

Start Date

4-14-2018 8:30 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

COinS
 
Apr 14th, 8:30 AM

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Erosion’s Impact on Late-Archaic Southeastern United States Shell Rings

Neville 110

I worked with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust Archaeologists on a Late Archaic period shell ring on Edisto Island. I completed punch tests along marked lines of a gridded map to determine how deep the shell ring reached into the earth. I kicked a pointed rod into the earth and measured the difference in height from entering and exiting the shell layers to determine the depth or height of the shell ring. Every fifth punch test included a shovel test, so a shovel would pierce the earth and remove the contents to examine for accuracy of punch readings and possible trends in artifacts. One hypothesis is that part of this shell ring was used as a workshop to make and repair tools for the people who lived there. Another section of the shell ring contained a high concentration of carved bone pins and other rarer artifacts, indicating that part of the shell ring was probably used for ceremonial purposes. The possibility of sections of purpose of the shell ring is a new discovery. These sections give the idea that the shell rings might have been divided into a village of sorts with each section dedicated to a different purpose. This is a new theory that will lead to yet more research and data collection.