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17 April 2010
4,000 year-old artifacts found in South Carolina

One of the few nearly intact archaeological sites of the South Carolina Lowcountry (USA) provides a glimpse into life during the Stallings period, 3,500 to 1,000 years BP. The site is contemporary with Stonehenge and the first settlements in Rome, when native peoples of the region were making the transition from hunter-gatherers to permanent settlements.
     The first pottery fragment was found 27 years ago, during renovations on a house located near the site. The ancient campsite has since provided more than 25,000 artifacts.
     The early inhabitants of this area are believed to be the first in North America to produce pottery. Moss was added to the clay to strengthen pots and hold them together during firing. The pottery fragments still show the decorative markings made with fingernails and small sticks.
     Large mounds of oyster, turtle and hickory nut shells,  and bird and deer bones have also been found at the site. With abundant food readily available, life during this era may have included leaisure time, similar to what tourists to the region enjoy today.
     The Hilton Head site was placed on the National register of Historic Places in 1988.

Source: The Island Packet / The Beaufort Gazette (5 April 2010)

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