Families can get their hands on history at the new SC archaeology lab at BullStreet

Families, history buffs and those just interested in South Carolina’s rich cultural heritage have a new way to get their hands dirty – literally.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust Program, which has been without a home since its inception in 1974, has landed at BullStreet. The hands-on, public program – the first to be initiated in the United States more than four decades ago – studies 17 culture heritage preserves across the Palmetto State with the help of regular folks who are invited to take part in real archaeological digs.

But digging is just the first and most visible part of archaeology. There is also the process of cleaning, washing, sorting, analyzing and cataloging the finds – from pottery sherds to huge chunks of ancient shell mounds – so that scientists can connect the dots that make up our common history.

The trust’s new digs (pun intended) is in the historic Parker Annex, located at the corner of Barnwell and Calhoun streets in the former S.C. State Hospital campus. The building was constructed in 1910 and was purchased and restored last year by Diversified Development of Columbia.

The Parker Annex Archaeology Center, as it is now called, is the first building for the program that will have dedicated offices, laboratory and curation and outreach space.

“This is the springboard to our outreach in the community,” Gaillard said.

Read more in The State newspaper article by Jeff Wilkinson, published Oct. 23, 2017: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article180499641.html