Shell Rings and Settlement Organization in the Coastal American Southeast: New Insights from Remotely Sensed Data Public

In 2018, we identified over 50 new potential shell rings in Beaufort County, SC using LiDAR and automated feature extraction algorithms. Further analysis of this data has confirmed the archaeological nature of several of these deposits. This poster details further analysis of these features. We find that the majority of these rings are significantly smaller than previously identified rings in South Carolina and the spatial patterning of these features paints a picture of clustered settlement distribution. Areas with the highest density of shell rings are located in closer proximity to water and in higher elevations than rings located in lower density areas. Additionally rings that are in close proximity to other rings have higher volumes of shell per unit of area than rings that are further away from other rings. Overall, this information suggests that where shell rings are clustered together, their overall size is smaller but their volume of shells is greater, whereas rings that are more dispersed are larger but contain a smaller volume of shells per unit of area.

Presented at the 84th Annual Society for American Archaeology Meeting, Albuquerque, NM, 2019


Dylan Davis
Carl Lipo
Matthew Sanger
Attribution 4.0 International
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1.27 MB
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