Hampton Plantation Community Archaeology Project

The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism has been conducting an archaeological study of Hampton Plantation State Historic Site in McClellanville, SC since May 2010, and the effort will be ongoing throughout 2013. While Hampton Plantation is best known for a large Georgian-style planter’s mansion and its association with the Horry and Rutledge families, the current archaeological project is excavating a structure on the property that was occupied in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by those enslaved on the plantation. The archaeological excavations will be open to park visitors from early April through June 2013, allowing the public to see the process and experience some of the daily discoveries. Several additional public programs will take place in spring and summer of 2013. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant in February 2013.

The excavation work to date at Hampton Plantation has identified the partial boundaries of a brick foundation of a house and numerous artifacts. The goal of the continued excavations of the house and yard space is to recover additional artifacts and data that will be useful in understanding and interpreting how the enslaved adapted and maintained their living and work spaces to meet their cultural and community needs.

The excavation will generally be open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the site and find out what is being learned. There will be plenty of time to chat with the archeologists about the site.

A public lecture given by Stacey Young will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the McClellanville Arts Council on 733 Pinckney Street, McClellanville, SC 29458. Several other lectures will be offered through the summer. These lectures will be announced as final details are made. These opportunities to learn more about the previous and current discoveries at the site will be free and open to the public. Additionally, there will be a Community Day on Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. The field director and humanities scholar, Stacey Young, and other project staff will update the public on past findings and encourage open dialogue and participation in the dig. The Community Day will be particularly advertised to the residents of the local Germantown, South Santee, McClellanville, and Georgetown communities, many of whom have a direct connection to Hampton Plantation through their family histories.

Additionally, artifacts recovered from the excavation will be put on display in an exhibit in the Ranger’s Station at the state park, where visitors can view them and learn more about the dig.

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site is located at 1950 Rutledge Road, McClellanville, SC 29458. More information about the park can be found on the website here: http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/hampton/introduction.aspx. For detailed information about the ongoing archeological project or opportunities to volunteer, please contact David Jones at 803-734-1521.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.