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This site features images from the collection of Jim P. Bryan

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If you are interested in the study of American History, Allendale would be great place to focus your attention.
Going back to the beginning… really the beginning… it appears that human habitation on the North American continent started as much as 30,000 thousand years earlier than previously believed…. in Allendale.

Archeologists throughout most of the 20th Century concluded that the first Americans came through Alaska from Siberia across the Bering Strait around 14,000 years ago. However, University of South Carolina archeologist Al Goodyear has uncovered evidence at the “Topper Site” near the Savannah River that he believes may be evidence of human habitation as early as 50,000 years ago.

The evidence at the site suggests that people went there to find chert for making chopping tools. Chert is a fine grained sedimentary rock that is rich in silica and known to archeologists as an ancient material of choice for making tools.

The site of the archeological dig is not open to tourists as it is located on a parcel of land owned by the Archroma Corporation. However, artifacts are on display at the Salkehatchie campus of the University of South Carolina in Allendale. Admittedly, it is a bit of a stretch to say that human history in North American started in Allendale, because humans surely would have been in other parts of the continent at the same time. However, as far as
evidence of human history in North America, Allendale can claim the oldest site.

Native American history in Allendale focuses on the Salkehatchie and Yamasee tribes. The Salkehatchie occupied land that is now Allendale County as well as neighboring counties to the north, east and west. The Yamasee originally occupied land in what is now Georgia. They encountered difficulties with Spanish settlers and moved north across the Savannah River in 1687 into the area that is currently Allendale County. They lived in peace with the Colonists until 1715 when they rebelled. When they were defeated, they fled to St. Augustine, Florida.

The arrowhead at right was found on a family farm in Allendale and is probably of Salkehatchie origin. It is an example of the chert stone mentioned above.
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