The Archaeology of the Yamasee and Guale Indians: Effects of Colonization on Indigenous Populations in Coastal Georgia and South Carolina


Panel organizer:  Dr. Eric C. Poplin, Brockington and Associates, Inc.


Native Americans who lived along or near the coast of Georgia and South Carolina eventually were overwhelmed culturally and economically by European colonists. Early Spanish explorations into the region brought the promise of new technologies and trading partners, along with the despair of disease and warfare. By the late seventeenth century and the founding of British Carolina, the coastal Indians of Georgia and South Carolina had adapted to the presence of their Spanish neighbors to the south and eagerly sought interactions with the newcomers to leverage their positions among competing and sometimes hostile Indian neighbors. The Yamasee moved to the coast of Georgia by the 1650s to trade with Spanish Florida. Later they moved into lower Carolina to ally with the newly arrived Britons. The indigenous coastal Guale, who soon allied with the Yamasee, found themselves in the buffer between their competing British and Spanish neighbors. The choices made by the Yamasee and Guale dramatically altered their traditional lifeways and material culture, and ultimately led to their demise.

The panel seeks papers that present evidence of these changes in indigenous culture, as reflected in archaeological materials and ethnohistorical accounts, to explore how the coastal Indians of Georgia and South Carolina attempted to maintain their identities and homelands within the expanding British colonial empire in North America.


Send 250-word paper abstracts to Dr. Eric C. Poplin at by Friday, September 7, 2012.