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The Identity of a Plantation Structure: The Identity of a Plantation Structure:

The Function of an Early Structure on The Preliminary Analysis of an Early Structure at Mont Repose Plantation Mont Repose Plantation Jasper County, County, SC St Lukes Parish, JasperSC

Heather Amaral, Georgia Southern University


Abstract
During the 2000 Archeology Field School, Georgia Southern University began an investigation of a nineteenth century plantation structure near Ridgeland, South Carolina. The plantation, Mont Repose, is an example of an inland rice plantation operated in this region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The structure was initially believed to be a kitchen for this plantation but more recent fieldwork has suggested that this designation may need to be re-examined. Recent excavations have yielded specific artifacts suggesting that the structure may have sheltered a variety of daily functions in addition to specific kitchen activities. Preliminary Mean Ceramic Dating suggests a possible association with an earlier occupation of the site. A 1739 coin, sewing items, various personal possessions and a gold gilded broche were found along with other higher status artifacts. The demise of the structure and the impact that had on the stratigraphy will also be examined. This poster will present the preliminary archival research, fieldwork, a preliminary analysis of a sample from the artifact assemblage and suggestions for future research.

Work in Progress

Results
*Evidence suggests a one story structure with an external masonry chimney/hearth located at the western end of structure. *Excavations do not suggest a multi-room structure or shared chimney/hearth at this time. Loft space is a possibility but is not evident archeologically. *Currently there are 17 units open and the 4th structural wall on the eastern end has not been located. *Brick fall suggests that the chimney fell inward towards the center of the structure crushing furniture and possessions with in the brick fall. *Accumulations of faunal material and kitchen vessels are suggestive of abandonment due to catastrophic event. *A sample of 26, 122 artifacts were used for this preliminary analysis, this is only of the estimated assemblage to date.

Methods
*Mont Repose Plantation has no standing structures associated with its historical occupations. *Historical document research, geographic features and an archeological survey were used to establish the location of potential sites. *Concentrations of brick, nails, ceramics, and shell fauna yielded from the archeological survey were used to determine excavation areas. *Archival and genealogical research were used to establish an extensive family tree revolving around property ownership, land usage and various occupations. *Samuel R. Gillison, Sr. made Mont Repose an important family homestead and a successful rice planation. Upon his death in 1847, a wall around the family cemetery was constructed at Mont Repose. The family cemetery was located in 2008