Friday, August 18, 2023

Office of State Archaeology to Hold Aug. 30 Town Hall Meeting in Tyrrell County

Aug 18, 2023

The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology (OSA) soon will hold a town hall meeting in Columbia, N.C. to gather local information about the area’s historic sites, cemeteries, community ties and local history. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Tyrrell Senior Center, 406 Bridge St, Columbia, N.C.

This town hall is in association with an OSA project supported by an Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) grant, money appropriated by Congress in response to Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018 and administered by the National Park Service. The project aims to identify, document, and assess archaeological resources along the shoreline between 60 meters (ca. 200 feet) inland and 60 meters (ca. 200 feet) outward from the mean tidal zone, in hurricane-impacted state-owned and managed lands across North Carolina’s coastal counties. Using a combination of terrestrial and underwater archaeological survey methods, this project will provide a baseline for understanding different climate change and storm effects on day and waterlogged sites, as well as broaden our understanding of coastal communities’ experiences and ways of life. Researchers are hoping to identify at-risk sites associated with North Carolina’s maritime industries and African American communities.

Two of the project areas are in Tyrrell County — the Scuppernong River Dedicated Nature Preserve of Pettigrew State Park and the Alligator River Game Land. Previous surveys identified a collection of archaeological resources ranging from shipwrecks to historic landings in these areas. Additional research indicates other unidentified resources are in these areas. As such, OSA is conducting the survey in the area to assess damage to the previously identified resources, identify previously unknown resources, and document the erosion along the shorelines.

The town hall on Aug. 30 is a two-part evening that will provide an overview of the project goals, objectives, and methodologies of the project. The event will start at 6 p.m. with an hour-long open house, in which the public can view maps of the project areas, view a slideshow of the types of sites that are likely to be in the park, and chat with project researchers about the project. The second portion of the evening will be a presentation by AECOM, a resource management firm. This presentation will formally present the project goals, objectives, and methods for the project. Throughout the evening, the public is encouraged to share any local knowledge they may have about archaeological resources in the area of the Scuppernong River Dedicated Nature Preserve of Pettigrew State Park and the Alligator River Game Land

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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