Visit to the Johannes Kolb Site

By: Casey Robinson on Mar 26, 2015 | Categories: General, Academic

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On March 12, 2015, Camden Military Academy Archaeological Society and members of Mrs. Alice Thaxton’s environmental science class paid a visit to the Johannes Kolb Site in Darlington County. The nineteen cadets were given the opportunity to participate in excavations which have been carried on by the SCDNR and Diachronic Research Foundation for 19 years. After an adventuresome two mile drive into the swamps of the Great Pee Dee Heritage Preserve, the cadets were given a tour of the site by Major Ghaffar, site interpreter for the project. He explained the principles of archaeology to the boys and gave them a background of the site. The site, 38da75, was discovered in the 70's by an amateur researcher and was subsequently excavated every year for about two weeks since 1996. On the site, archaeologists found evidence of human occupation from as early as 13,000 years before present up until historic times. In the early 18th Century, it was settled by the family of Johannes Kolb, one of the founding fathers of Darlington, SC. During the early 19th Century it was occupied by slaves, and after the Civil War, by freed slaves. After a thorough orientation, the cadets were free to break into groups to assist the archaeologists with four different excavation units across the site. Cadets were able to find and handle a myriad of artifacts from the different eras, while learning about this multidisciplinary science from professionals. The expedition included Cadets McQuaide, Chamberlain, Allman, Lord, Presnal, Willis, Derhammer, Pflaging, MacDonald, Cox, Figlow, Irtenkauf, Brierley, Gagliardo, Mansfield, McCabe, Wagner, Grantham and Lascell. Major Ghaffar and Mrs. Thaxton chaperoned the field trip.