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CCU archaeological field team digs in Conway

June 8, 2010

A Coastal Carolina University archaeologist, an anthropologist and six students are currently working on excavations on the Conway Riverwalk at the Kingston Presbyterian Church parking lot. Wednesday, June 9 will be the last day of the dig starting at 8 a.m.

A 19th-century government shipyard was apparently once located in the corner of the church parking lot along the banks of the Waccamaw River.

Telecom companies had been doing some work there when they began to unearth large lumps of resin, which was a common substance used in 19th century shipyards. Cheryl Ward, Ph.D., director for CCU's Center for Archaeology and Anthropology, was notified. Ward had already scheduled a field school, a hands-on archaeological dig experience for students, and decided to begin work at that site.

Many artifacts such as lumps of resin, pieces of glass and pottery, pieces of mortar and brick, as well as whole bricks, pieces of splintered wood, nails, various types of fresh water and sea shells, and even a small piece of rope have been recovered so far.

The CCU team is working with several entities including the City of Conway, which is burying the lines; Greenwall Construction, the contractor; Horry County, which owns the rail line; Kingston Presbyterian Church, which owns part of the site; and the Carolina Southern Railroad, which has a leased interest in the railroad easement over part of the site.

Carolyn Dillian, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology in CCU's Department of History, is serving as crew chief and co-director.

For more information, visit the student blog site at

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