The Ring of Oysters – An Archaeological Site in the Lowcountry

A ring of oysters, once home to a small community, hints at the way life used to be, and at the ways it could be again. It’s a reminder to be grateful for the things we have and to cherish the people and places around us, and it’s an encouragement to push past the curves life throws at us to find our own path of balance and growth.

We’re proud to support the conservation of this important cultural resource and its surrounding landscape. This is an incredible opportunity to preserve a part of our Lowcountry heritage that’s rarely talked about.

This archaeological site contains one of the largest shell rings in the Southeast, and it’s a rare chance to see this rare type of feature. It also provides key insight into the evolution of Native American societies, particularly during the Late Archaic period when bands of hunter-gatherers began to develop permanent settlements along coastal areas.

Researchers have been working for the last few summers to uncover more of the story behind this shell ring located at South Bluff Heritage Preserve on Coosaw Island off SC 802 in Georgetown County. This year they’re planning to dig close to the original excavation pit, and hopefully will have new insights into how this ring was built. The research team’s deep learning model developed by Binghamton University has been successful in detecting shell rings, but with more training data it would be possible to better detect additional potential sites throughout the Lowcountry and beyond. shell ring

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