Archaeological dig on Native American shell ring in Hilton Head - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Archaeological dig on Native American shell ring in Hilton Head

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A research team all the way from upstate New York is wrapping up a major archaeological dig Friday on Hilton Head Island.

The team has spent the past month excavating a Native American shell ring, which dates back more than 3,000 years and was used as a modern day landfill where the Native Americans threw away their trash and leftover food like oyster shells and deer bones.

We spoke to the team leader who explained the significance of this project.

"This is an area where Native Americans were decimated by diseases early on and warfare, and then were forced out through the Trail of Tears so we don't have a lot of Native Americans living here. So their history is usually lost to us and we don't think about it too much. So one of the major goals is to bring the history to the forefront again and remember that thousands of years before Europeans, Native Americans were living here,” said Matthew Sanger, professor of Anthropology at Binghamton University.

This is the first leg of the four-year project. The team will be back in late January to finish excavating the site and analyzing their findings.

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