Stanley South Manuscript Collection


Stanley Austin South was born on February 2, 1928 in Boone, North Carolina. After a stint in the Navy, he attended Appalachian State Teachers College in 1949. He then taught eighth grade in Greensboro, NC for two years and worked as a professional photographer. Later, he attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his Master’s Degree in Anthropology in 1959.

South first worked as the State Archeologist for North Carolina. In 1969, he became a professor with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He participated in numerous excavations throughout North and South Carolina. These excavations included Town Creek Indian Mound (NC), Old Salem (NC), Fort Fisher (NC), Ninety Six (SC), Charles Town Landing (SC), Brunswick Town (NC), Santa Elena (SC), Fort Dobbs (NC), Fayetteville Arsenal (NC), and Bethabara (NC).

In addition to his digs, South published several works. These include Indians in North Carolina (1959), Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology (1977), Historical Archeology in Wachovia: Excavating Eighteenth-Century Bethabara and Moravian Pottery (1999), Archaeological Pathways to Historic Site Development (2002), An Archaeological Evolution (2005), and Archaeology at Colonial Brunswick (2010).

South was an archaeologist who championed Processual or New Archaeology. This approach aligned the goals of archaeology with the goals of anthropology, which sought to answer questions about humans and society. Previously, archaeologists followed the Culture-Historical approach, which presumed information about peoples and their life-ways was lost once artifacts were excavated. They could only catalog, describe, and create timelines based on artifacts. South’s contributions helped legitimize archaeology as a scientific endeavor. He was also a pioneer of Historical Archaeology, which utilizes written records and oral traditions to contextualize cultural materials.

Stanley Austin South passed away at the age of 88 on March 20, 2016 in Columbia, SC. The Stanley South Manuscript Collection includes all of the materials created during the archaeological excavation of Bethabara, the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina. The collection is comprised of thousands of objects, including archaeological square sheets, ceramic profile sketches, data sheets, object catalogs, research notes, correspondence, payroll, photographs, and many other items.

Items will be added to the digital database as the collection is processed.

Collection Items

B405 Stand lamp burning linseed oil
Glossy black and white photograph of an archaeologically excavated oil, or stand lamp manufactured by Moravian Potter Gottfried Aust between 1755 and 1771. The lamp is lit, standing in the lower right corner of the image, sitting on a wrinkled…

B404 Candlestick and pipe from Bethabara
Glossy black and white photograph with a 3/8" white border on the top, 1/"4 white border on the bottom and right. In the lower right corner of the photograph, there is an archaeologically recovered candlestick and an anthropomorphic fluted style pipe…

B403 Candleholder and kaolin pipe from Bethabara
Glossy black and white photograph of ceramic candle holder with wax candle, ink vial with quill, paper with wax seals, and a kaolin pipe. The candleholder is an archaeologically recovered object manufactured by Moravian potter Gottfried Aust between…
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