Archaeologists at Rose Hill Plantation showcase hidden history

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UNION, S.C. (WSPA) – The Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site will host one last event for its Black History series on February 15 at the historic plantation grounds.

The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Director of Applied Research Division, Stacey Young, will present a session called “Archaeology of Plantation Lifeways”.

Attendees will get a chance to learn about archaeological discoveries at Rose Hill and future archaeological work.

The Rose Hill Plantation State Historic site sits on more than 40 acres of land. Young and her team searched all of it.

“We’re hoping to find whatever activities occurred. You know, it could be that there was a house site, pieces of broken dishes. If there was windows, window glass, brick, nails,” Young said.

Although the plantation house had been preserved, Park Ranger Nate Johnson said many of the buildings and homes that surrounded it had not been.

“Places where African American families lived, in many cases generations of African American families lived, disappeared in ways. But, archaeology is a way we recover that,” Johnson said.

Artifacts, like a red clay brick, have been found over the years. Johnson explained any archaeological finds help build an image for the nearly 200 slaves that lived and worked on this 2,000 acre cotton plantation.

“We’ve also found one artifact that seems to be from Native American occupation here. Which you would expect that,” Young said.  

Young and her team will present their findings from the various digs, so it’s best to be prepared for this presentation.

“Good walking shoes. You know, questions, questions about archaeology, questions about what we do, questions about, you know, what we are finding and that sort of thing,” Young said.

Johnson explained events like this help attendees connect with the surroundings.

“Generations of African American families and individuals lived here and by walking these grounds we’re able to connect with their stories,” Johnson said.

The presentation starts at 11 a.m. Young will lead a walk around the park grounds to showcase previous archaeological dig sites.

 “We want everyone to come so it’s open to everybody,” Johnson said.

For more information about Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, click here.

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