Preliminary documentation of a chine-girder barge at Conway, South Carolina


  • Mark M. Newell

    1. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of South Carolina, 1321 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29 208, USA
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The study of small flat-bottomed plantation craft in South Carolina began in 1983 with the discovery and study of a barge at Mepkin Abbey on the Cooper River. Since that date the author has documented a wide range of craft in contexts ranging from plantations and ferry crossings to marine phosphate mines (Newell. 1986; 1989). The flat which is the focus of this report is the first of its type observed during this 8-year study period. Its construction and hull profile indicate that the vessel is a late 18th century craft. Current research by the author into the origins of the unique design suggests eastern European or French sources for the use of iles or chine-girders, a constructional element of the craft used in conjunction with transverse planking not commonly seen in flats of English design.