An Archaeology of Life in Charleston

Mar 26, 2018

Trowel at an archaeological dig.
Credit HeritageDaily [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(Originally broadcast 12/01/2017) - In Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community (2016, University Press of Florida), Martha Zierden, Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum; and, Dr. Betsy Reitz, University of Georgia Athens, weave archaeology and history to illuminate this vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential, commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets, and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken.

The authors shed light on the dynamics of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services that linked the city with rural neighbors and global markets. They also trace fish and game from the woods and waters to the kitchens where the food was prepared and the tables where it was served. Zierden and Reitz reveal how global trade goods combined with indigenous flavors to create a cuisine that was uniquely Charleston.

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