Download Full Text (3.9 MB)


An archeological investigation was conducted at the Palm Tree site, 38BK147, located on the Amoco Chemical Company's plant facility on the Cooper River in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The field work was done by the writer and David Ballenger of the Institute's staff during March and April of 1976. The laboratory analyses and reporting was accomplished, intermittently, during the early summer of that year. The research goals for this project were to investigate the adaptive strategies of this occupation in terms of the environment, and to develop models of settlement and adaptation. Intrasite artifact analysis, analysis of subsistence items and features, and intrasite comparisons were utilized to evaluate and describe the community pattern of this site and its adaptive significance in this environment. These data were then incorporated into more extensive intersite comparative analysis and synthesis to develop proposed settlement models. The archeological investigation indicated that extensive deposits of predominately Thom's Creek ceramics existed in situ below the plow zone of the site. Analysis of the frequency distribution and spatial occurrence of these ceramics revealed distinctive differences in decorative motifs from similar ceramic assemblages from coastal estuary sites on the Cooper River. A comparative analysis of ceramics from coastal sites which contained shell and interior lower Coastal Plain sites which do not contain shell was performed. Results of the experiment indicated a distinctive contrast between frequency distribution of certain motifs. Two models of settlement are presented to explain the distinctive distribution of these ceramic motifs, and an evaluation of these models in light of contemporary knowledge of this area is discussed.

Publication Date



The South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology--University of South Carolina




Excavations, Indians of North America, Ceramics, Amoco Chemicals Company, Cooper River, Berkeley County, South Carolina, Archeology




In USC online Library catalog at:

Archeological Investigation at the Palm Tree Site, Berkeley County, South Carolina

Included in

Anthropology Commons