Regarding the 2016 Field Season:

Dear Friends of the Kolb Site: The Johannes Kolb Archaeology and Education Project will conduct its final field season from March 8-12, 2016 [Weather and river levels permitting]. After 20 years, it is time to finish up our excavations and shift towards intensive lab analysis and then prepare both technical and public oriented reports of our work at this important site.

Carl Steen, Sean Taylor and I were fortunate to have been introduced to this incredible archaeological resource by Ernest L. “Chip” Helms, Jr of Darlington South Carolina. Chip and his family, in particular his sister Mary Ellen Hodges introduced us to many friends in the area between Mechanicsville and Society Hill and in and around nearby Florence. These introductions allowed us to create a community based program of archaeological research and education. Many of the undergraduate students who first volunteered at the Kolb site are now among the professional archaeologists working in our state and beyond. Numerous volunteers from the local community, across the state and throughout the southeast joined us in the process of carefully and systematically sampling this site and we have learned many important lessons along the way. This project would have been impossible logistically and financially without the efforts of the community along with the Diachronic Research Foundation, the Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Native American Studies Center at USC Lancaster. So please mark your calendar and come out to the site one last time.

But wait, there’s more.   The March 2016 field effort is not the end of the Kolb project; far from it actually. We are now raising funds and beginning to design a museum exhibit on the prehistory of South Carolina featuring the Kolb site. This exhibit will run for three years with an opening reception on Saturday March 18, 2017 at the Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina Lancaster, during the Native American Festival that kicks off Native American Studies Week. So the emphasis shifts from fieldwork at the site each March to the laboratory year round, and Public Day will now be held in Lancaster, South Carolina on a Saturday each March.

We hope to see you soon out on the Great Pee Dee River.

Chris Judge

Square Holes: A Kolb Site Documentary

DVD cover for Square Holes

The directors of the Johannes Kolb Archaeological and Education Project are pleased to announce the completion of a documentary DVD of the 2103 Field Season at the Kolb site. Directed and produced by William C. Judge, (cousin of Chris Judge) a film maker with Bodhi Leaf Productions in Apex, North Carolina our film was funded by Duke Energy, USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center, Dr. Walter F. Judge and Bodhi Leaf Productions. Bill Judge, with multiple cameras, spent the 2013 field season embedded with the archaeology team—living, eating and breathing archaeology first hand from start to finish. The DVD project was designed as a fund raising tool and for a donation of $20 we will mail a copy of the DVD to anyone, anywhere. Send a tax deductible check or money order for $20 to Diachronic Research Foundation PO Box 50394, Columbia SC 29250.

Directions to site

This Year’s Demonstrators:

We will have demonstrations of African American lifeways, leatherworking, and reenactors in addition to our demonstrations by Fuz, Scott, and Keith. The South Carolina Archaeology Public Outreach Division (SCAPOD) will provide kids’ activities including pottery re-fit and sand stratigraphy.

Fuz Sanderson

Day long presentation focused on the interpretation of the prehistoric use of natural resources, specifically those items that do not survive the archaeological record. Demonstration includes; friction fire materials, pitch sticks, soapstone materials and other natural resources.

Keith Grenoble

Demonstrates prehistoric pottery manufacture, firing and use in cooking. Archaeological sites rarely produce whole vessels and the public interpretation of the site benefits greatly from seeing replicas of ancient pots and their use.

Scott Jones

General demonstration of primitive technologies. Demonstration will focus on interpretation of archaeological record, activities include: Flint knapping, Stone axes, Woodworking, Stone tool hafting and the Atlatl spear thrower.


SEAC Grant

In 2007 we were honored to receive a grant from The Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) to assist with our public education efforts. Our grant report can be found at the link.