University of South Carolina

Christopher Amer (left), Joe Beatty carry artillery shell recovered from Pee Dee River.
Underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer (left) and archaeological assistant Joe Beatty carry an artillery shell from a Confederate Brooke rifled cannon recovered from the Pee Dee River.

Continued: Archaeology

The project of the S.C. Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina is funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation in Florence. Plans call for the cannon and artifacts recovered from the Mars Bluff Naval Yard and associated with the C.S.S. Pee Dee to be preserved at conservation laboratories at Francis Marion University under the supervision of Leader. They will then be exhibited at the Florence County Museum.

The project includes collaboration with East Carolina University and Francis Marion University. ECU’s Program in Maritime Studies is conducting a field school on the site through June 19, providing support to the SCIAA team’s research and excavation work.

Amer said researchers have been aided greatly by the Pee Dee Research and Recovery Team, which conducted an underwater survey of the site in the 1990s under an intensive survey license from SCIAA, and by the owners of the property on which the site is located. The owners have allowed the university and ECU archaeologists to stage the underwater operations on their property and conduct terrestrial archaeology.

SCIAA, part of the College of the Arts and Sciences, was established in 1963 as a University of South Carolina research institute and a cultural resource management agency for the state of South Carolina. To learn more about SCIAA, its research projects and outreach programs, visit the Web site – -- or call 803-777-8170.

By Office of Media Relations

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Posted: 06/05/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 06/30/09 @ 11:40 AM | Permalink

History in the Pee Dee

  • What: Discovery of remains of the Confederate gunboat C.S.S. Pee Dee and Mars Bluff Naval Yard
  • Who: State underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer, state archaeologist and research associate professor Dr. Jon Leader, and research collaborators from East Carolina University and Francis Marion University
  • Where: Marion County, on the east side of the Pee Dee River

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