Teaching Associate, Anthropology and Geography

Nicole Isenbarger

Teaching Associate, Anthropology and Geography

Phone: 843-349-6588 Email: nisenbarg@coastal.edu Office Hours:



Isenbarger conducts archaeology to research the craft pottery production of enslaved Africans in the South Carolina Lowcoutry with a focus on the people, processes and social and economic variables involved in pottery making.   This approach allows for an analysis of the decisions made by each household as to how to manage their household tasks and earnings to meet their particular needs and express their individual tastes. These decisions reflect how enslaved families struggled to create a sense of home and community.

Isenbarger has over fifteen years of experience conducting archaeology in the South Carolina Lowcountry for both local and private entities. She has worked on a variety of projects including plantations throughout the Lowcountry and Bahamas; urban gentry houses, gardens and markets; and historic and prehistoric Native American sites. Her most meaningful research has explored how the enslaved at Dean Hall Plantation (Berkeley County, SC) made their own pottery for personal cooking and religious uses within their households, and as a commodity in the local markets to earn money to buy necessities beyond their rations. Her current work is uncovering the lives of the colonists and early defenses of the original seventeenth century British settlement in Charleston.


M.A., Anthropology, University of South Carolina
B.S., Anthropology, College of Charleston

Interesting Facts

Co-recipient of South Carolina African American Heritage Commission 2010 “Preserving our Places in History” Individual Award.

Publication: "Traditions and Tasks: Household Production and the Internal Economy at Dean Hall Plantation, South Carolina." In "Tearing Down the Walls: The Architecture of Household Archaeology," edited by Kevin Fogle, James Nyman, and Mary Beaudry. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 2015. Co-authored with Andrew Agha.

Teaching Areas

Primates, People & Prehistory Lab

Research Areas

African Diaspora, Household Craft Production Economies, Colonoware ceramicist, Plantation Archaeology