The primary activity of the Division is that of long term, problem-oriented research conducted within South Carolina and adjacent regions. Active research programs in the Research Division include:
Allendale Paleoindian Expedition
Since 1998, Al Goodyear has been leading excavations at the Topper site, a Clovis and pre-Clovis site in Allendale County, South Carolina, on the Savannah River. This research has been conducted through the Allendale Paleoindian Expedition, an excavation program utilizing volunteers from the public.
Military Sites Research Program
Military sites are defined as battlefields, defensive works (forts, batteries, redoubts, trenches), camps, landscapes, ships or shipwrecks, and cemeteries—anywhere armies, soldiers, Native American warriors, or armed citizenry marched, lived, camped, maneuvered, fought and often died. The Military Sites Program focuses on reaching a broader understanding of conflict and war through archaeological research and asserts that the study and excavation of military sites should:
- provide a different perspective on conflict than that provided by historic documents alone;
- substantiate or refute standard interpretations of battle, war and warfare;
- document otherwise unrecorded military events; and,
- provide tangible evidence of the impact of conflict and warfare on our society
The program is directed by Steven D. Smith, who specializes in military sites archaeology. Steve’s main interest is in the American Revolution, however, he is interested in all aspects of military history and has researched and published on Civil War archaeology and African American military history. The program is 100 percent funded by grants and contracts from outside sources.