Historic Markers Across South Carolina



Shell Rings and Shell Middens



Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Rifle Range Road (State Road S10-51) and Old Marsh Parkway, Mount Pleasant, SC.
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 51.168    W 079° 46.904
  32.8528    -79.78173333
Style: Free Standing **
 



Text:

(Front):
Shell rings and shell middens found along the SC coast were made by Native Americans 3000-4000 years ago. Several have been discovered in the East Cooper area. The rings, composed largely of shell, animal bone and pottery were sometimes used as habitation sites. Some middens contain post holes, structural remains and large pits used to steam shellfish.

(Reverse):
The main purpose of the rings remains a mystery. They may have been the gradual accumulation of shell and refuse at the sites, perhaps built for ceremonial purposes or created as public monuments. The nature of the rings suggests that inhabitants successfully harvested natural resources which allowed nomadic bands eventually to settle at permanent locations.

Erected by the Town of Mount Pleasant, 2004