Thousands of pieces of slave pottery found in S.C.

CHARLESTON, S.C. --- An archaeological dig has uncovered thousands of pieces of slave pottery and other artifacts at an industrial site on the South Carolina coast.


Archeologists digging at the Berkeley County site found 58,000 pieces of colonoware, a handmade pottery crafted by slaves.

Officials say it is one of the largest concentrations ever found in the country.

In all, 125,000 artifacts were found at the site that used to be part of Dean Hall Plantation.

The site is located where there once were 19 slave cabins.

Other items found during the dig included gold and silver coins, bone buttons, porcelain doll heads, stoneware bowls, glass bottles and pipe stems.

Archaeologist Ralph Bailey said the finds show that families lived on the site for 150 years.

The artifacts were found as part of a dig on land owned by DuPont where the company plans to build a Kevlar fibers plant.

The work was part of a routine archaeological survey of the site before construction. The plant will begin operation in 2012.

"We went into it not expecting this," said Ellis McGaughy, the plant site manager. "We rearranged some work to allow archaeologists to do their work. When you hear archaeologists get excited, everybody else gets excited, too."

Some of the artifacts will go on display next month at the Heritage Room at Cypress Gardens, a park near the site.