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By Eric C. Poplin, Jon Bernard Marcoux and Brent Lansdell

2012 Charles Towne Landing Archaeology Conference

Historical accounts by the earliest visitors to South Carolina document a landscape that was occupied and manipulated by Native Americans. Throughout the late sixteenth, seventeenth, and early eighteenth centuries, these descriptions provide us information on the approximate locations and names of the groups of people who lived in coastal South Carolina. Eugene Waddell (1980) identified 19 groups who lived between the Santee and Savannah rivers between 1562 and 1751 (the last mention of the coastal Etiwan Indians in the colonial records). While some of these groups may have been the same with different names applied by visitors from different European countries over these 200 years, Waddell's review of French, Spanish, and English colonial documents indicates that many groups of people lived along the coast at the time of European arrival and settlement. These accounts provide primarily the names that Europeans or their closest allied Indian neighbors gave to these groups. By 1670, these people included the Bohicket, Etiwan, Kiawah, Sampa, Stono, and Wando around Charleston Harbor, with the Sewee along the coast up to the Santee River, the Coosaw to the immediate interior, and the Edisto along the river bearing their name to the south.

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