Lowcountry Bounty: Foodways in Charleston revealed through Archaeology

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Lowcountry Bounty: Foodways in Charleston revealed through Archaeology

Martha Zierden

The Horry County Museum and the AVX Foundation present a lecture by Martha Zierden on the history of lowcountry foodways on Saturday, September 23rd, at 1:00 PM.
When European and African settlers arrived in Carolina in the late seventeenth century, they encountered a bountiful land, teeming with fish, game, and a variety of resources. Zooarchaeology has, for over three decades informed on the animals used and consumed by all residents of the Carolina lowcountry. The lowcountry diet was marked by a heavy consumption of beef, while wild species of fish, birds, and small mammals provided diversity, particularly for wealthier residents. Lowcountry cuisine is a combination of European, African, Native American and West Indian influences and recipes with foods native to, or successfully cultivated in the lowcountry. Analysis of animal bone, environmental data, and artifacts from both urban and rural sites show us that lowcountry residents took advantage of the resources available to them by combining meats from domestic animals with those from a wide variety of wild animals in a unique way. Archaeological excavations in Charleston have also recovered artifacts used in storing, cooking, and serving this lowcountry diet.
Martha Zierden is Curator of Historical Archaeology at The Charleston Museum, a position she has held since 1981. She graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. and an M.A. in Anthropology. She has conducted archaeological research and excavated numerous sites in Charleston and the surrounding lowcountry. For over 30 years she has collaborated with zooarchaeologist Elizabeth Reitz of University of Georgia to explore animal use and foodways in the city.
She is co-author of the forthcoming book, Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community, from University Press of Florida. She has published articles in the journals Historical Archaeology and South Carolina Antiquities. Her research appears in edited books, including Another’s Country: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on Cultural Interactions in the Southern Colonies, “Unlocking the Past: Celebrating Historical Archaeology in North America”, and Archaeology in South Carolina: Exploring the Hidden Heritage of the Palmetto State. She was awarded the Whitelaw Founders Award from Historic Charleston Foundation in 2006.
This program is free to the public and will be held in the Museum’s McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway, SC 29526. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email hcgmuseum@horrycounty.org. The view a full list of scheduled programs for 2017, visit the museum website at www.horrycountymuseum.org.

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