Beaufort County Library Logo
 
Fragment of Yamassee Indian storage jar.
Yamasee Storage Jar

Altamaha Artifacts

Images and Artifacts Provided by Heyward Point, LLC

Images and Captions are courtesy of

Alex Sweeney, Field Director,

Altamaha Site, Brockington and Associates

Web page designed by Grace Morris Cordial and Dennis Adams. 

Archaeologists use a backhoe to scrape off the top layer of dirt.  

Archaeologists are cleaning the surface of the excavation to expose the post patterns of a Yamasee house.

Archaeologists use a backhoe to scrape off the top layer of dirt.  Workers then clean the area behind to find features (called "soil anomalies") in the sand.  Archaeologists are cleaning the surface of the excavation to expose the post patterns of a Yamasee house. The yellow stains indicate a chemical reaction between the house supports and the soil. Soil stains are a key indicator that a site has been occupied by humans.

 

   
An archaeologist is excavating a feature.    The work crew conducts field excavations at Altamaha.
An archaeologist is excavating a feature.  The feature is what remains of a Yamasee trash pit after 350 or more years.    The work crew conducts field excavations at Altamaha. Notice how the soil is removed in shallow layers to protect the integrity of the site.

 

 

   
Here are two ceramic human effigies that the Yamasee made.   Shards from the interior of a Yamasee bowl.
Here are two ceramic human effigies that the Yamasee made.  The one on the left looks more female than the effigy on the left.  Archaeologists believe that both are meant to represent human beings.    These shards come from the interior of a Yamasee bowl.  The Yamasee used some sort of iron oxide to create the red film that lines the inside of the rim.  Archaeologists look for this red-filming as a key characteristic that they are dealing with Yamasee artifacts.

 

 

   
  Reckoning counter, a token used for accounting by Europeans and colonists. 
This is a ceramic jar the Yamasee made.  Before they fired the pot (when the clay was still wet), they incised a scroll-shaped motif on the shoulders of the vessel.   This is a reckoning counter, a token used for accounting by Europeans and colonists.  This one was modified by the Yamasee (who were probably not using it for accounting) by punching two small holes on the edges of it.  It was likely worn for personal adornment as a pendant on a necklace. 

 

 

   
Preform of a shell bead.   Finished shell bead.
This is a preform of a shell bead.  In other words, it is in still in the one stage of manufacture.    This is a finished shell bead.  It was likely a part of a necklace.

 

 

   
Ceramic disk.   Large Yamassee storage jar.
This is a ceramic disk, possibly made from a broken pot.  We are unsure about its function, but the Yamasee could have used it as a gaming piece.   This is a large storage jar.  Notice the folded rim where Yamasee punctated circular nodes along the edged of the fold.  The criss-cross pattern on the base of the storage jar was made by stamping a carved wooden paddle in the clay before firing the pot. 
     
 
| Return to Home Page | Website User Agreement |
|
Local History and Nature Pages |
Last Revised 2-5-2008.
Send comments on this web page to Webmaster.
Copyright © 2008, Beaufort County Library, SC
All Rights Reserved.
 
Beaufort County Seal. Click to go to County website
 
 
 
Beaufort County Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 || Telephone: (843) 470-6504
Fax: (843) 470-6542