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Author Topic: Children really dig archaeology program at Redcliffe Plantation  (Read 136 times)
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« on: September 30, 2007, 04:31:26 PM »

Elizabeth Laney, a park interpreter at Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, shows Jacob Norton, 10, and Emily Biebesheimer, 8, how to sift through dirt to find artifacts

By Charmain Z. Brackett| Correspondent
Sunday, September 23, 2007

At the age of 5, Jacob Norton had already decided that his goal was to become an archaeologist.

"I did see it on TV about the Civil War, and I thought 'Wow,'" said the 10-year-old Aiken Elementary School pupil, who found out a little bit more about the vocation during an Archaeology Day program at Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site on Sept. 15.

Upon their arrival, some of the aspiring archaeologists were instructed to tour the slave quarters, and others went to the stables. There, they drew a picture of the site and then wrote down some information about it.

From there, they visited with Elizabeth Laney, an interpreter at the park, who gave them a feel for what it's like to be an archaeologist. She scooped up some dirt and placed it on a sieve. Then they looked for artifacts.

"Archaeologists study things made or used by humans," she told them.

In the plot of earth were such items as broken dishes and pieces of metal.

If an object was located, the finder placed it in a bag. After all the artifacts were found, they washed the items.

Ms. Laney said the program went well.

"A lot of these are home school groups," she said. "I'm very glad to have them. We've had some adults interested in archaeology, and I've had two or three children come up to me and say, 'I want to be an archaeologist.' "

Ms. Laney said national archaeology month is October, and the events provided a good lead-in.

Kelly Biebesheimer's daughter Emily, 8, and niece Chloe Goforth, 5, seemed to enjoy the event, Ms. Biebesheimer said.

"They love to dig and explore. They love to be on a treasure hunt," she said. "When they heard about this, they were so excited."

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at .

From the Sunday, September 23, 2007 edition of the Augusta Chronicle

Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site

�Cotton is King!�

Those words resounded through Congress and then the nation in a fiery speech by South Carolina Sen. James Henry Hammond in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Hammond�s legacy also lives on in the picturesque setting of Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site.

The plantation home, completed in 1859, and iconic lane of 145-year-old magnolia trees are highlights of the site. So is the view of the Savannah River valley from the top floor of the Greek Revival house, where historians say Hammond could see the clock tower a dozen miles away across the river in downtown Augusta.

Exploring the preserved slave quarters, admiring the heirloom garden and picnicking on the expansive lawn also are favorite activities at the park. Redcliffe was donated to South Carolina in 1973 by former Time editor John Shaw Billings, a descendant of the former congressman and governor.

    * Civil War: Yes
    * Designation: National Register
    * Counties: Aiken
    * Acreage: 369
    * When & How PRT Acquired: Donated in 1973 from John Shaw Billings
    * Pets: Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet.

    * Tour and Programs Information: Redcliffe Plantation is a "DiscoverCarolina Site", which provides curriculum-based social studies programs for South Carolina school children.

    * Admissions: Park admission is free. House tours are $4 age 16+;
      $2.50 SC Senior;
      $3/youth or child age 6-15

    * Office Hours: 11am-noon
    * Days and Hours of Operation: Grounds: Th-M 9am-5pm (extended to 6 pm during Daylight Savings Time);

      House Museum Tours are held on the hour Thursday through Monday at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm.

    * Driving Directions:
      From I-20: North Augusta take exit 1 onto Martintown Road. Go approximately 4 miles and turn left onto Hwy 125 S. (Atomic Rd.) to Beech Island. Turn right at stop light onto Beech Island Ave. then left onto Hwy 278 at next stop light. Go two miles then take a right onto Hammond Road. Then right onto Redcliffe Rd. Redcliffe is approximately 14 miles from I-20.
    * Miles to Nearest Hospital: 11
    * Miles to Nearest Town: 3

    * Charleston, SC: 130
    * Columbia, SC: 70
    * Florence, SC: 150
    * Greenville, SC: 120
    * Charlotte, NC: 160
    * Raleigh, NC: 395
    * Atlanta, GA: 160
    * Augusta, GA: 10

Hiking Trail

 Description:  Once you find the trail head, this is an easy-to-follow, rolling, and winding loop path through the woods surrounding an 1859 mansion that belonged to South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond. From the parking area, walk back to the entrance gate, turn left inside the gate, and walk along the fence and tree line. You will curve past an open field on your left and see the mansion at a distance, before you reach the trail head sign at the edge of the woods. You will walk mostly downhill through mixed hardwood and pine forest until you turn abruptly to the left on the knoll above the pond. You will walk on a path through tall bamboo stalks, past towering magnolias, as you circle back along the opposite side of the pond. You will ascend on the trail through cool green foliage where Spanish moss dangles from the trees. As you near the end, the path widens into a sub-grade road between banks of English ivy. You will walk out of the woods past the trail entrance sign. To complete the loop, walk across the grassy area, circle around the tall trees, and look for the mansion on the left. (Do not wander into the surrounding woods.) You will see the parking area just past the mansion. You may enjoy strolling around on the grounds where you will see unusual and exotic trees including Johnny�s Parasol, Scarlet Oak, and Deodar Cedar.

Be careful to avoid fire ant mounds and tick repellent is recommended during warm weather. Pets are permitted on leashes. Restrooms are available at the office.

Length: 2.4-mile loop (total distance from parking area).

Directions: From North Augusta, drive approximately 8 miles south on SC 125, which joins with US 278. Stay on US 278 when it separates to the left. Drive approximately 2 miles and turn right onto Hammond Road (Aiken County S�2�580). Drive .2 mile and turn right onto Redcliffe Road. The park gate is .4 mile on the right. Enter through the gate and drive to the parking area near the mansion.

Camping: No camping.

Park Information: Redcliffe State Historic Site, 181 Redcliffe Rd., Beech Island, SC, 29842. Telephone: 803-827-1473.
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