Charleston Palisade Pilings

This past summer, archaeology took place in South Carolina to investigate the colonial fortifications surrounding the city of Charleston and, recently, several artifacts from the excavations came to the MAC Lab to be treated. Two 7 foot pilings and a smaller piling (approx 2 ½ feet), recovered from structures that once extended across the length of Charleston’s waterfront, were transported to the lab and conservator Caitlin Shaffer is beginning to treat them. In 1702 and 1703, the larger pilings were placed in a palisade that was being built five feet in front of a brick wall that surrounded the waterfront. The pilings were back-filled with oyster shell and mud so that they formed a strong barrier to protect the brick wall against tides and storms. The smaller piling is one from a bed of pilings that the brick wall was built upon. We are excited to have the privilege of preserving a bit of Charleston’s history, especially the bit that saw the infamous Blackbeard plundering ships outside Charleston’s harbor in 1718!

Block print of Charleston waterfront


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