Pee Dee River Drainage

The Pee Dee drainage has seen considerable work in its lower reaches. At Wachesaw Landing Michael Trinkley tested a site he thought was associated with the Waccamaw Indians, and defined the Kimbel and Wachesaw series (Trinkley and Zierden 1982). A few miles upstream at Yauhanna Bluff Natalie Adams tested what was suspected to be the site of a 1715 trading post, but compelling evidence was not found. A wide variety of pottery types were represented, including Stallings, Thoms Creek, Deptford, Deep Creek, Mt. Pleasant, Refuge, Santee, Hanover/Wilmington, McClellanville and Badin (Adams ed. 2006). Data recovery excavations in Florence County (Trinkley, Adams and Hacker 1993) produced a large number of sherds, but the interpretation is ambiguous (Trinkley et al 1993). Stallings and Pee Dee were minority types, but the collection was dominated by “Yadkin,” Badin/Cape Fear,” and Hanover/Wilmington.” His "Yadkin" is not tempered with crushed rock as Coe (1964) defined it, but with granular sand. Joe Herbert (2003) might call this "New River."

Excavations have been ongoing at the Johannes Kolb site (38DA75), in Darlington County, since 1997. Preliminary cataloging has been completed, and multivariate analysis has been completed on a sample of the sherds, but the results (Taylor 2005) have not been fully reported. The ceramic collection there is rich and varied, and holds the potential to establish a typology for the Pee Dee drainage that spans all of prehistory and extends into the historic era with both 18th and 19th century pottery.

For many years North Carolina researchers ventured south of the border looking for the Sara town that was the namesake of modern Cheraw. They found a number of sites, but none with historic trade goods. These have only been partially reported (Trinkley, Hogue, and Wilson 1983) and with the exception of Jack Wilson (1983) and Trawick ward (1983) little attention has been paid to the pottery (in Neighbors, ed. 1983). North of the border where the Pee Dee becomes the Yadkin some of the formative work in North Carolina archaeology was conducted at the Doerschuck site by Joffre Coe (Coe 1964), where he defined the Yadkin type. He and his students excavated many sites over the years including the Pool and Leak sites (Oliver 1992). The most significant, of course, was Town Creek Indian Mound, which was located on a tributary of the Pee Dee called Little River. Generations of North and South Carolina archaeologists spent hot, humid and highly educational summers at the site including Stan South, Leland Ferguson, and Michael Trinkley. Jeff Reid wrote a dissertation on Pee Dee pottery in 1976, and his work was expanded by Billy Oliver (1992), Tony Boudreaux (2008). Dr. Coe completed a book based on some 30 years of work at Town Creek in 1995 (Coe et al 1995).