|Location:||Berkeley County, South Carolina.|
|Excavator(s):||Thomas Wheaton, Patrick Garrow, and archaeologists with Soil Systems Inc.|
In 1979, Soil Systems Inc. embarked on a groundbreaking project resulting in the earliest and most extensively excavated slave-related sites in the southeast. Project Investigators Pat Garrow and Tom Wheaton headed mitigation fieldwork in advance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cooper River Rediversion Canal Project. The archaeological component, known as The Cooper River Historic Sites Investigation, included surface collection, metal detector survey, mechanical stripping, and excavation, and focused most intensively on three sites containing slave quarters: 38BK75 and 38BK76 both located on Yaughan Plantation; and 38BK245, located on Curriboo Plantation. 38BK76 is located between Lake Moultrie and the Santee River near the town of St. Stephens, South Carolina in Berkeley County. The site consisted of multiple slave dwellings belonging to the Yaughan plantation, an indigo and rice plantation owned by Huguenots (Wheaton et al. 1983:15-16; Wheaton and Garrow 1985:242) and was occupied from the 1740s to the 1790s (Wheaton and Garrow 1983:243). Thirteen structures, the majority of which were post-in-trench, were identified at the site along with an overseer’s house (the complex of Structure D and M) (Wheaton and Garrow 1983:244). 29,876 total artifacts were cataloged into DAACS from the site. Excavators noted the most abundant artifact type recovered was colonoware, composing forty percent of the artifact assemblage (Wheaton and Garrow 1983:248).
38BK76 is the earlier of two Yaughan plantation sites excavated as part of archaeological mitigation. The earliest reference to Yaughan Plantation dates from 1737. The 650 acre tract conveyed by Richard Allen to Edward Thomas, “known by the name of Yaughan”, was part of a larger, 1200 acre tract. Thomas left this property to his son Samuel, who in turn sold it and the adjacent 596 acre property to Isaac Cordes in 1742. The two tracts became known as Yaughan Plantation and by 1745, the inventory of Isaac Cordes’ estate lists cattle, sheep, hogs, horses and some household goods at “Youshan” (Inventory of Isaac Cordes, 9 August 1745, cited in Wheaton and Garrow 1983:76).
The chain of plantation ownership continues from Isaac to his son John, who died in 1756. John Cordes left his real estate equally divided between his two sons, John and Thomas, who were children at the time of his death. A cousin, Samuel Cordes, became their guardian in 1756, and Yaughan appears to have functioned primarily as an indigo plantation under the daily supervision of a series of overseers (Account Book, Estate John Cordes, 1764-1798, cited in Wheaton and Garrow 1983:76). John Cordes attained his majority in 1768, and although local tradition states that he inherited all of his father’s property by law of primogeniture (cited in Wheaton and Garrow 1983:76), John Cordes clearly continued to administer Yaughan Plantation on behalf of his brother Thomas (Account Book, Estate of John Cordes,1764-1798, cited in Wheaton and Garrow 1983:76).
In 1773, Thomas Cordes formally accepted his share of his father’s estate from his uncle, and his brother John confirmed his title by deeding him half of their father’s estate in what appears to have been a straw-man transaction. Thomas Cordes had already begun to participate in local parish affairs, and, thus, he had probably begun to reside at least part of the year at Yaughan. Although he took an active role in the Revolutionary War, his name appears periodically in parish records through the 1770s. He married in 1784, and records of various neighbors in the post-war years indicate that he bought indigo and rice seed, evidently to receive the plantation’s prewar functions despite changes in the indigo market, which put the American grown commodity at a severe disadvantage. He and his family continued to live at the plantation until his death in 1809.
His widow left the property divided equally among her children when she died in 1826, and ten years later, her three daughters sold their interest in Yaughan to Solomon Clarke. Records indicate it is not likely that Clarke spent a great amount of time at Yaughan. In 1850, he sold the property to J.W. Thurston, who began to subdivide the property in 1857. The separate parcels changed hands several times over the next century and tended generally to decrease in size (Wheaton and Garrow 1983:88).
Excavation history, procedure, and methods
38BK76 was excavated through a combination of surface survey, hand-excavated blocks, and machine-stripping (Wheaton andGarrow 1983:244). The site was first tested by raking back thirty-five areas that were then surface collected (Wheaton et. al.1985:59). Fifteen 3’ x 3’ test units were excavated following the rake backs (Wheaton et. al. 1985:64). The area was then cleared by bulldozer and disked. A stratified random sample was surface collected by superimposing a 100 ft square grid over the site and random sampling ten 10 by 10 ft units within each 100 ft quadrat. Any artifact found outside one of the assigned 10 by 10 ft units was collected and lumped together with the general 100 ft quadrat designation (Wheaton et al. 1985:89). Following surface collecting, two 30 by 30 ft blocks were divided into ten foot units each, with 6-inch baulks (Wheaton et al.1985:92) and excavated to subsoil. Many features were excavated but some were not due to time constraints (see 38BK76 site map: numbered features were excavated; unlabeled features were not excavated). The entire site was mechanically stripped to approximately one to two inches of subsoil then shovel shaved to fully expose features (Wheaton et al. 1985:93), which were all drawn on site map but not all excavated due to time constraints.
All hand-excavated units located in the two blocks at Yaughan 76 were dug using natural stratigraphy. All soil, excluding half of the root mat, was dry screened through 1/4 inch mesh. Soil samples were taken at each level from representative units across the block.
Summary of research and analysis
Thirteen structures were uncovered: three from block excavations and ten from mechanical stripping and shovel shaving. Eight were primarily trench structures, one was half trench and half posthole, and four were exclusively posthole construction (Wheaton et al. 1985:158). All the post-in-trench earthfast structures would have had mud walls with the posts providing added strength (Wheaton et al. 1985:193). Structures 76A and 76B were excavated by block excavation (Wheaton et al. 1985:92). Structure 76D consisted of a post-in-trench house (D1) with a later, larger post-in-ground addition (D2) (Wheaton et al. 1985:138). Structure 76E was the only one to have central and end trenches (Wheaton et al. 1985:140).
Structure 76A was the most repaired building with all corner posts being replaced or repaired at least once (Wheaton et al. 1985:145).Structure 76B was two structures, one superimposed on the other: Structure B1 was a post-in-trench building and B2 was a post-in-ground structure. Wall trench construction was the most frequent building type at Yaughan 76. Associated trench features are longand narrow, ranging in width from 0.8 to 1.5 feet. Profiles were nearly vertically sided with flat bottoms. Trench depths ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 feet below ground surface, and lengths varied from 9.5 to over 40 feet. Commonly, two parallel trenches outlined a structure but in some cases, cross trenches were placed midway along the length and at the ends (Wheaton et al. 1985:98). The hypothesized building method of these structures consists of a trench being dug, followed by posts being placed down the centerline at once, and the trench refilled. Archaeological evidence at Yaughan 76 supports an earlier trench methodology followed by a later post construction building method.
Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery
Thomas Wheaton and Patrick Garrow
Soil Systems Inc.
- Measurements are in feet and tenths of feet
- DAACS Project ID for Yaughan 76 is 1302
Spatial information recorded in individual context records and DAACS site maps for Yaughan 76 are based on the coordinate system established in the field that covers the entire site. Local grids that were established at excavation Blocks A and B have been converted to the large grid as well. There was no explicit spatial information found that tied the Phase I map, including locations of “rake backs” and test units, to the large grid. As a result, Phase I work is plotted on the site map using information recorded on Block A unit records.
- Contexts 76T through 76R: At least thirty-eight “raked back” areas (varying in size from five to thirty ft in diameter) were placed in the southeast, south and southwest quadrants of the site. They were visually inspected for artifacts after being raked back (ie. these are surface finds). Depicted as circular on the map.
- Contexts 76TU01 through TU15: Fifteen 3 x 3 ft units excavated to subsoil during testing phase “to more precisely locate the site boundaries and to understand the stratigraphy”. These were placed after defining the initial division between sites 38BK75 and 38BK76. We can get approx coordinates by aligning maps—no spatial info in DAACS currently.
- e.g. 76T-F001: Feature contexts excavated during testing phase. Note: Some of these features were located in what eventually became the two block excavation areas.
Trees smaller than 8-10 inches in diameter as well as piles of brush and branches left by recent logging were removed by a bulldozer over the entire site. The site was then disked using a garden tractor to a depth of one to two inches below ground surface. Following that, surface collections were made:
- Contexts 76-L001 through L011: Surface collection over 100 x 100 ft large surface collection units. Given coordinates based on large grid.
- Contexts 76-L012 through L124: Stratified random surface collection over 100 x 100 ft blocks were divided into a grid of 10 x 10 ft units and 10 randomly placed units were surface collected in each block. Given coordinates based on large grid.
In addition, two approx 30 x 30 ft block areas (A and B) were “hand excavated” at 38BK76:
- Contexts 76A-U16 through U26: 10 x 10 ft units placed in 30 x 30 ft block excavation oriented around Feature 1, found during testing phase, associated with Structure A. Excavated to subsoil. Given coordinates based on a Block A local grid.
- Contexts 76A-B1 through B9: Six-inch balks around each unit in Block A Excavation. They were removed after quadrats were excavated and profiles drawn.
- Contexts 76B-U27 through U39: 10 x 10 units in block excavation area B. Given coordinates based on a Block B local grid.
After surface collections and block excavations, the entire site was mechanically stripped down to one to two inches above subsoil in order to expose features and then shovel shaved using a garden tractor with a draw blade, then shovel shaved by hand. Features were then excavated and related contexts are identified as follows:
- e.g. context 76-F001 Feature contexts located outside Blocks A and B
- e.g. context 76A-F001 Feature contexts associated with Block A
- e.g. context 76B-F001 Feature contexts associated with Block B
The original excavators of the Yaughan 38BK76 site assigned numbers to individual features. Yaughan 76 feature numbers were assigned consecutively throughout the entire project. Excavators assigned feature numbers using an F-prefix that precedes the number (i.e. F001 is Feature 1).
Feature Groups Feature groups are sets of features whose spatial arrangements indicate they were part of a single structure (e.g. structural postholes, subfloor pits, and hearth) or landscape element (e.g. postholes that comprise a fenceline). Feature Groups assigned by DAACS have a FG-prefix, which precedes the number (i.e. FG01 equals Feature Group 1). Feature Groups were not assigned by the original excavators of Yaughan 76.
|F038||Posthole||76A-F038-1, 76A-F038-2, 76A-F038-3|
|F039||Trench, Builder’s||76A-F039-1, 76A-F039-2, 76A-F039-3|
|F040||Trench, Builder’s||76A-F040-1, 76A-F040-2, 76A-F040-3, 76A-F040-4|
|F044||Posthole, possible||76A-F044-1, 76A-F044-2|
|F057||Posthole, possible||76A-F057-1, 76A-F057-2|
|F088||Trench, builder’s||76B-F88-1, 76B-F88-2|
|F101||Posthole||76B-F101-1, 76B-F101-2, 76B-F101-3|
|F002||Pit, unidentified||76-F002-1, 76-F002-2, 76-F002-3, 76-F002-4|
|F003||Pit, unidentified||76-F003-1, 76-F003-2|
|F005||Pit, trash||76-F005-1, 76-F005-2|
|F008||Pit, unidentified||76-F008-1, 76-F008-2, 76-F008-3, 76-F008-4|
|F012||Pit, trash||76-F012-1, 76-F012-2|
|F014||Pit, unidentified||76-F014-1, 76-F014-2|
|F015||Pier, brick||76-F015-1, 76-F015-2|
DAACS has developed a uniform set of methods to infer intra-site chronologies for all of the sites included in the archive. These methods, which include frequency-seriation and correspondence analysis, were developed by DAACS (see Neiman, Galle, and Wheeler 2003 for technical details). The use of common methods for all sites in the archive is designed to increase comparability among temporal phases at different sites. The methods and the phase assignments they produced are summarized below. Archive users may also use the Mean Ceramic Date queries provided on the Query the Database section of this website to calculate MCDs for individual contexts or features.
For some sites, the original excavators developed intra-site chronologies and, where these exist, they are described on the Background page for the site. In the case of Yaughan 76, the principal investigators did not develop a chronology for the site. The DAACS chronology presented here is the only current chronology for the site.
DAACS Seriation Method
As with other sites in the Archive, the seriation chronology for Yaughan 76 was derived fromceramic assemblages aggregated at the level of stratigraphic groups and individual contexts not assigned to stratigraphic groups. To reduce the noise introduced by sampling error, only ceramic assemblages with more than five sherds were
included. We excluded assemblages from unit clean-up but included those from surface collections. The seriation chronology presented here is the result of a correspondence analysis (CA) of ware-type frequencies from contexts that meet these requirements (Figures 1 and 2).
It is possible that the excavation strategy used at Yaughan 76 may have inadvertently made it difficult to conduct the phasing analysis. As noted above, a good portion of the assemblage was created from surface collection and excavation of postmold/posthole features. The relatively large amount of surface collection and the emphasis on mechanical stripping and feature excavation likely decreased ceramic sample sizes and by extension impacted our ability to phase the site.
The low ceramic counts associated with individual contexts meant that only a small percentage of contexts could be included in the analysis. Only 19 out of the 464 contexts met the criteria for inclusion.
After running an initial version of the CA it was determined that the nineteenth-century types (Whiteware,
Ironstone/White Granite, and Porcellaneous/English Hard Paste Porcelain) had small sample sizes and were distributed randomly, i.e. their distribution showed no discernible pattern. Consequently, these ware types were removed from the CA because they were obscuring the patterning of ware types with earlier manufacturing date ranges that were associated with the enslaved occupation.
Upon examination of the CA for Yaughan 76, it is evident there are roughly two clusters of assemblages along Dimension 2 (Figure 1), whereas Dimension 1 appears to represent more
variability between assemblages than it does along the dimension axis. In addition, CA results produced a stronger correlation between Dimension 2 scores and MCDs than that seen along Dimension 1 (Figures 1 and 2), suggesting that Dimension 2 represents time from bottom (early) to top (late) along the Y axis. The CA results produced a correlation between Dimension 2 scores and MCDs (Figures 3-5), suggesting that Dimension 2 represents time.
Based on the dips in ceramic counts observed in a histogram of Dimension 2 scores, where the vertical axis measures ceramic assemblage size (Figure 3), we divided the Yaughan 76 site into two occupational phases (Figures 4 and 5).
DAACS Phases are groups of assemblages that have similar correspondence-analysis scores, similar
MCDs, or both, and are therefore inferred to be broadly contemporary. Phases have a P-prefix that precedes the phase number (e.g. P01 equals Phase 1). Based on the correspondence analysis DAACS divided the Yaughan 76 occupation into 2 phases (Figures 3 thru 5). Mean ceramic dates for the site-specific phases are given in the table below.
The four contexts that are differentiated by the Dim 2 scores have some notable differences in ware-type frequencies than the other contexts. SG02, the plowzone layer that covers Block A and B excavations as well as some of the Test Unit excavations, has more Staffordshire slipwares and tin-enameled wares than other contexts. 76-L003 (a surface collection context) has larger quantities of North Midlands slipware and British stonewares in relation to other contexts while 76-L004 (also surface collection) has a higher frequency of White Salt Glaze sherds relative to other contexts. Finally SG-05_F008 has a higher proportion of Chinese Porcelain.
The MCDs for the two phases are given in the table
below. Individual phase MCDs and BLUE MCDs, which give less influence to ceramic types with long manufacturing spans, indicate that Yaughan 76 was occupied throughout the last half of the eighteenth century. The table also provides three TPQ estimates. The first TPQ estimate is the usual one – the maximum beginning manufacturing date among all the ware-types in the assemblage. Two other TPQ measures included in the table below are less sensitive to excavation errors and taphonomic processes that might introduce a small amount of anomalously late material into an assemblage. They are TPQp90 and TPQp95. The TPQp95 of 1762 and 1775 for Phases 1 and 2 provides a robust estimate of the site’s TPQ based on the 95th percentile of the beginning manufacturing dates for all the artifacts comprising it. The TPQp90 of 1775 for both phases provides a more robust estimate of the site’s TPQ based on the 90th percentile of the beginning manufacturing dates for all the artifacts comprising it.
Yaughan 76 Mean Ceramic Dates and TPQs
Incorporating data from the DAACS database, we perform the correspondence analysis through the R programming language (R Core Team 2014) to conduct the CA analysis.
The CA code was written by Fraser D. Neiman. The following packages generate the data tables, CA, and plots within this code: RPostgreSQL (Conway et al. 2013), plyr (Wickham 2014), reshape2 (Wickham 2014), seriation (Hahsler et al. 2014), ca (Greenacre, Nenadic, and Friendly 2014), and ggplot2 (Wickham 2015).
All of the R code used in this analysis was written within the domain of the R Core Team at the R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria (2014). The correspondence analysis for Yaughan 76 was conducted by Elizabeth Bollwerk.
38BK76 Harris Matrix
The Harris Matrix summarizes stratigraphic relationships among excavated contexts and groups of contexts that DAACS staff has identified as part of the same stratigraphic group. Stratigraphic groups and contexts are represented as boxes. Lines that connect these boxes represent temporal relationships implied by the site’s stratification, as recorded by the site’s excavators (Harris 1979). Stratigraphic groups, which represent multiple contexts, are identified on the diagram by their numeric designations (e.g. SG01) followed by the original excavator’s descriptions of them (e.g. “Topsoil”). Contexts that could not be assigned to stratigraphic groups are identified by their individual context numbers (e.g. 76A-B1-5). Boxes with color fill represent contexts and stratigraphic groups with ceramic assemblages large enough to be included in the DAACS seriation of the site (see Chronology). Their seriation-based phase assignments are denoted by different colors to facilitate evaluation of the agreement between the stratigraphic and seriation chronologies. Grey boxes represent contexts that were not included in the seriation because of small ceramic samples.
See the Yaughan Chronology page for Stratigraphic and Phase information. Please note that some of the contexts present in the chronology analysis are not visualized on the Harris Matrix. The contexts that are not included do not have any stratigraphic relationships with other contexts. The lack of relationships can occur for a few reasons but two common examples are 1) the artifacts are from a surface collection, which is entered into DAACS as a context but does not have recorded relationships to other contexts that are below it; 2) in cases where topsoil and plowzone are stripped and discarded, there may be features below the plowzone that are comprised of a single context. Since the plowzone does not exist as a documented context with artifacts, it cannot seal the single-context feature. DAACS also does not record subsoil as a context, so there is nothing for that single context feature to intrude or seal.
This Harris Matrix is based on data on stratigraphic relationships recorded among contexts in the DAACS database. It was drawn with the ArchEd application. See http://www.ads.tuwien.ac.at/arched/index.html. For a printable version, download the Harris Matrix [2.73 MB PDF].
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