Beyond the Classroom - Coastal Carolina University
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Beyond the Classroom

As a student of Anthropology and Geography, the entire world is your classroom. Through our regional partnerships and field schools, you will get the hands-on experience that will help you succeed after graduation.


Brookgreen Gardens

Coastal Carolina University and Brookgreen Gardens have reestablished their historic ties through an endowed professorship honoring Professor James L. Michie. Dr. David Palmer is the first person to hold the James L. Michie Endowed Professorship in Historical Archaeology at Coastal Carolina University, a position which also includes the title of Archeologist-in-Residence at Brookgreen Gardens. Palmer will be working with Brookgreen Gardens conducting archaeological research on historic plantation sites to provide research and fieldwork experience for CCU students and community volunteers as well as valuable historic information for public interpretation and outreach by Brookgreen Gardens.

Contact: Dr. David Palmer
James L. Michie Endowed Professor of Historical Archaeology
Department of Anthropology and Geography

Hampton Plantation

Reconstructing the Rice Kingdom is a project that is developing an immersive virtual landscape for historic Hampton Plantation. This multi-year digital humanities project centers around an immersive virtual reconstruction of historic Hampton Plantation, on the South Santee River in South Carolina which will serve as a platform for exploring the natural and cultural features of an 18th and 19th century rice plantation landscape. Work is currently focused on on 1) conducting site visits and an initial survey of the site to develop a GIS database of the current landscape and its natural and cultural features; 2) literature review to include historical sources, previous scholarly work, and existing multimedia; and 3) development of a draft 3D model of the Hampton main house c.1809 as the first feature in reconstructing the historical landscape of the plantation.

Contact: Dr. Susan Bergeron
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology and Geography


Field Schools

Lowcountry Prehistoric Archaeology Field School (ANTH 395Q)

This field school introduces students to prehistoric archaeological field and laboratory methods, focusing on a Native American archaeological site along the South Carolina coast. In the field, students will learn techniques of archaeological excavation, mapping, and survey. Excavations are likely to recover evidence of historic and prehistoric habitation including tools, pottery, food remains, and hearths. During the field season, students will also spend time processing the collected artifacts at an archaeological laboratory. Processing will include washing, labeling, identifying, and analyzing archaeological materials. Students will have the opportunity to learn from professional archaeologists during demonstrations and guest lectures, and will compile their own artifact analyses. Discussions will also cover the practice of archaeology today, specifically addressing current state and federal laws dealing with the treatment and excavation of archaeological sites and museum collections.

Contact: Dr. Carolyn Dillian, Chair
Department of Anthropology and Geography

Students at Coastal Carolina University recently participated in an archaeological dig, as part of a Maymester course. The work took place near the coast on land owned by the Coastal Educational Foundation. Classes have excavated at the site before, but this time the students went deeper and farther back in time than they ever had in the past.

Brookgreen Gardens Historical Archaeology Field School (ANTH 396Q)

This field school will introduce students to historical plantation archaeology and will cover field and laboratory methods including excavation, mapping, survey and consultation of historical sources in the interpretative process. An ethnographic component incorporates oral history, interviews, or other data from descendants of those who may have lived or worked on the plantation. Archaeological inquiry includes but is not limited to: the built environment, ritual practices, ethnicity/identity, childhood, socio-economic realities, and other topics through the lens of material culture. Students will learn to process artifacts by washing, labeling, identifying, and analyzing them on site and in a laboratory. Students will gather historical data from museums and other archival sources with which to compare archaeological findings.

Contact: Dr. David Palmer
James L. Michie Endowed Professor of Historical Archaeology
Department of Anthropology and Geography



Affiliated Activities and Projects

Anthropology and Geography Club

The Anthropology and Geography Club is a student-run club open to all CCU students. Students do not need to be Anthropology or Geography majors or minors, but must have a love of exploration, an interest in diverse cultures, an excitement for learning, and a desire to meet other students with similar interests. The Club sponsors movie events, speakers, study halls, and trips throughout the year. To receive announcements, please sign up via Coastal Connections. We look forward to seeing you at our next event. 


SPROUT is a student club dedicated to sustainability on and off campus. SPROUT members come from all different majors, but share a love of nature and getting their hands dirty! Club activities include preparing plants in the campus greenhouse, monitoring trees on campus, visiting community gardens, and community outreach. For information about upcoming meetings and events, or to join SPROUT, visit Coastal Connections.

Digital Heritage

Digital Heritage combines art history, archaeology, graphic and web design, 3D animation and digital photography to recreate monuments of the ancient past online. With faculty guidance, students from Coastal Carolina University and other universities, including Arkansas State, AR and Alexandria University, Egypt, conduct focused research on specific monuments, visit the locations, shoot high resolution digital panoramas, build interactive maps and 3D models, write essays that summarize scholarly opinions based on published archaeological reports, and document those sources with extended bibliographies.

Contact: Dr. Susan Bergeron
Department of Anthropology and Geography