Can archaeologists make artifacts talk?
Perhaps, as I asserted in an earlier post today, the greatest challenge to archaeologists is successfully relaying the nuances of our discipline to a broad audience. In order to be successful we must try to make the mute artifacts talk. The Johannes Kolb site on the Great Pee Dee River at Mechanicsville in Darlington County, South Carolina, USA provides a unique opportunity to dovetail archaeological research with a concerted public education program. This archaeological site spans the last 13,000 years with evidence for repeated occupations all thru time. Prehistoric Native Americans, 18th century European immigrants, 19th century slaves of African descent, Early 20th century loggers, and hunters and fisherman of the mid 20th century all called the Kolb site home. If home is truly where the heart is, the site offers a chance to breathe life into the past and make it’s pulse come alive by investigating the home place of past peoples. In reality we strive to make artifacts talk and oh but if only we could make walls and artifacts talk. Instead we rely on our science and our collective imagination to transcend time in an effort to better understand the human past in South Carolina and we ask you to listen and invoke your own imagination.