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Archaeology on Land and Underwater

Nov 14, 2010

On Thursday November 11th 2010 Dr. Cheryl Ward talked to the members of gsSCENE on the “Archaeology on Land and Underwater in the Lowcountry” at the Burroughs & Chapin Marine Science Center. Dr Cheryl Ward is the director of the Center of Archaeology and Anthropology at Coastal Carolina University. Dr Ward established the center and the Archaeology program at Coastal in 2009 and it’s been designed to support the interdisciplinary research at Coastal Carolina University.
Dr. Ward started the presentation by mentioning the true definitions of archeology and anthropology which Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that studies prehistoric people and their cultures. Anthropology is the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of humans.
Dr. Ward then went on to discuss that the oldest boat in the United States is on display daily at the Georgetown Rice Museum. The Browns Ferry Vessel sank at Browns Ferry in 1730, the boat is about 50ft in length, and it’s constructed primarily from Pine, Oak, and Cypress. The vessel was excavated in 1976 and taken to Columbia for further study. A maritime expert at that time considered its value to be the most important single natural discovery in the United States.
During late 2009, HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative) revealed a former shipyard under the Kingston Presbyterian Church parking lot in Conway, SC. During the reveal they were able to find large deposits of a resin based component used for building and maintaining wooden ships call naval stores. The naval stores taken from the parking lot of the Kingston Presbyterian Church are now located in the lab at Coastal for further study.
Dr. Ward mentioned that the Grand Strand area is filled with lots of maritime resources and those are docks, ships, boats, anchors, lost cargo, shipwrecks and some sunken campsites and cities.
A good portion of the lecture was on Blackbeard, Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Thatch and he had a special relationship with the governor of the Carolina’s. Blackbeard abandoned two ships in 1718; one of those ships (Queen Anne’s Revenge) ran ashore in Beaufort, NC.
-Donald C. Hovis Jr.