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Altamaha Town Archaeology

Archaeologists discovered Altamaha Town, at Heyward Point, along the Colleton River. They excavated six circular houses, the only known examples of Yamasee homes in South Carolina. They found thousands of artifacts that helped them understand how people lived in the town.

What did they find?

Round soil stains created as posts rotted.

14 to 15 post stains that formed 24-foot round houses.

Evidence of a door.

Post stains inside the houses from sleeping platforms and walls.

No evidence of hearths inside the houses.

Over 85,000 artifacts made or purchased by Yamasee people.

What did we Learn?

Archaeologists learned about how Yamasee people lived and the tools and clothes they used in their daily lives. These artifacts show us the Yamasee kept traditions such as making pottery, but liked to trade for European beads, guns, and metal tools.

Beaufort History Museum
  1. Welcome!
  2. Beaufort County's First People
  3. The Yamasee Indians
  4. Altamaha Town Archaeology
  5. European Superpowers in Carolina
  6. The Greatest and Fairest Haven
  7. Beaufort's Golden Age
  8. Patriots and Loyalists
  9. Antebellum Beaufort – In Town (1782-1861)
  10. Sea Island Cotton
  11. Antebellum Beaufort – Plantations (1782-1861)
  12. Battle of Port Royal (1861)
  13. Beaufort and the Civil War (1861-1865)
  14. The African American Experience (1861-1865)
  15. Model of the New South: Postbellum Beaufort (1865-1893)
  16. Robert Smalls -- The 'King' of Beaufort
  17. The Great Depression – Riches to Rags
  18. The Early 20th Century -- Here Comes the Marines!
  19. The Early 20th Century -- Civil Rights
  20. Rise of the Sunbelt -- Charles Fraser and the Fraser Effect
  21. 21st Century Beaufort -- The 'Chambers' Vision
  22. Preserving Our History
  23. The Greatest and Fairest Haven