Foundation of one of the state's oldest structures revealed

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A piece of South Carolina history is now uncovered, and it dates back to the late 1600's. This site is some privately owned land off the banks of upper Ashley River in Dorchester County.

An archaeological dig has revealed brick foundation that is believed to be one of the oldest structures in the state. The site belonged to Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, who is one of the original eight proprietors of the Carolina colony.

The brick, which is very old and deteriorating, was first discovered in 2009 after some survey work by the Historic Charleston Foundation.

The site was once an Indian trading post, and these archaeologists have found Indian beads, arrowheads, and some military defensive items like lead shot.

"This is really where those cultures come together in the early colonial period. You've got Europeans coming to set up a defensive site to trade with the Coosaw Indians and other native American groups, so this is a real hot bed of real colonial interaction," Associate Preservation Director of HCF Katherine Saunders said.

Sixteen undergrads from College of Charleston Archaeological Field School took part in the two week dig. MeadWestvaco provided the grant money for this project.

Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper is the man for which the Ashley and Cooper Rivers get their names.

The property is now privately-owned land and not open to the public. In the future, the artifacts found during this dig will be on display at the Charleston Museum.

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