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College of Arts and Sciences


SCIAA Topper Research

South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

Human beings have always been interested in their fellow humans -- those alive today and also our ancestors from the past. How has human life and culture evolved over the millennia?

To study this crucial question, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) was established in 1963 both as a University of South Carolina research institute and a State cultural resource management agency.

 SCIAA is the main State agency concerned with South Carolina’s prehistoric and historic archaeology.  And, as a University research institute, we initiate and conduct exciting research throughout the state, including the well-known Allendale Paleoindian Expedition led by Dr. Albert C. Goodyear, director of the Southeastern Paleoamerican Survey.  Since 1998, Goodyear has been leading excavations at the Topper site, an important Clovis and preClovis site on the Savannah River in Allendale County, South Carolina.

 The Office of the State Archaeologist is one of SCIAA’s divisions, as is the Maritime Research Program, the Applied Research Program, and the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program.

 SCIAA sponsors an annual conference on South Carolina archaeology (its 37th was held in 2011) and an Annual South Carolina Archeology Month that focuses on current archaeological research in the State.

 Finally, SCIAA has joined with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to offer ArchSite, the first online cultural resource information system in South Carolina.  The site combines data from the State’s archaeological and built heritage to provide researchers with this excellent resource.

Please look over our site to learn more about SCIAA.