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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division


Artifact Identification Resources

The following categorized links are to websites that may assist in filling out an artifact quarterly report and can provide information for various types of artifacts likely encountered by the hobby diver in the waterways of South Carolina. Use these sites as a first step to identifying artifacts recovered for the quarterly report, and if you have any questions about an artifact please contact the SDAMP office for assistance.  The MRD also offers at least two annual Artifact Identification Workshops to assist divers and non-divers in identifying artifacts commonly found in and around our state's waters.  

Lithics:

  • The Lithics Site is a resource for archaeological lithic analysts and contains a number of links pertient to the study of lithics.

Prehistoric Ceramics:

  • Guide to Native American Pottery of South Carolina  is maintained by SCIAA and introduces the reader to the pottery we find in SC and the literature that defines it.  In preparing this useful resource, archaeologist Carl Steen has provided numerous site reports and papers on pottery analysis, use, and manufacture. 

Historic Ceramics:

Bottles:

Cans:   

  • The Jim Rock Historic Can Collection contains images of historic cans assembled by Jim Rock (1942-2010) over his career as an archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Yreka, CA. He compiled information and provided typologies and dating techniques, including examination of seams, closures, openings, materials composition, etc. that have enabled archaeologists and historians to better interpret historical archaeological sites. 

Clay pipes:

  • ClayPipes.com is devoted to the study and dissemination of information about clay tobacco pipes, and involves various fields including history, art, technology, and archeology.

Civil War Artillery:

  • Robinson's Battery contains basic information about Civil War artillery, predominately focused on field artillery, but also provides examples of other types, including seacoast guns.
  • The Civil War Artillery Projectiles and Cannon site was designed to help the visitor to better understand the variety of Civil War artillery projectiles used by the Confederate and Federal forces during the War Between the States.

Maps and Charts:

  • Trails allows the user to position a location on a USGS topographical map, or satellite imagery, which is useful for preparing a map of a dive site. Click to place a center marker, and then zoom down and then move the site under the center marker to indicate its position. You can also obtain the coordinates for the site.
  • SCIWAY.netSouth Carolina's Information Highway, has made many useful historical charts, plats, and maps available to the public.
  • The Archaeological Society of South Carolina website provides a number of links to modern and historical maps and charts of South Carolina, along with other helpful links to archaeological resources.

 

If you are having difficulty identifying an artifact after using the above resources, send a description and photograph of the object to our Charleston field office (mrd@sc.edu).  Make sure to give us a good description, tell us where you found it, and attach some pictures.  We'll identify it or will find someone who might be able to help identify it.

If you have found other websites with information on artifacts or general archaeological resources useful to preparing your quarterly reports please inform us so that we may share the link with your fellow hobby divers.

[MRD note: some sites offer artifacts for purchase and we do not endorse the sale of artifacts recovered from archaeological contexts].