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Published: Oct 14 2010
Size: 7 x 10
A native of Union, South Carolina, Tommy Charles began his interest in archaeology as a child. In 1979 Charles joined the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), a research arm of the University of South Carolina. He has participated in many research projects over the years, and in 1993 he joined the SCIAA Research Division to pursue his research interests in prehistoric Native American culture. Now retired, Charles continues his own research in the South Carolina upstate.
"Time and nature have conspired to rob us of the bulk of pre-Columbian Native American art, much of which was rendered on perishable materials such as wood and cloth. Tommy Charles' systematic research has opened up a world where depictions of human figures and mysterious symbols dating back thousands of years still remain, etched and painted onto canvases of stone throughout the South Carolina uplands. His decades of clambering over outcrops and through rockshelters have culminated in a rock art survey that is unparalleled in scope in North America."—Charles R. Cobb, editor of Southeastern Archaeology and director of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolin
"Tommy Charles has made an outstanding and unique contribution to the archaeology of South Carolina and the greater Southeast in Discovering South Carolina's Rock Art. His research is methodical, scientific, and is presented in a highly readable style. This work fills a void in the archaeology of South Carolina, and addresses an important and often overlooked aspect of our cultural heritage. I sincerely hope that neighboring states will follow Charles' example. This is a fascinating work."—Max E. White, Anthropology, Piedmont College
"Since 1997, the South Carolina Rock Art Survey has recorded an enviously large sample of prehistoric and historic rock carvings and drawings. Given their near invisibility, this is a remarkable achievement. But it is no less remarkable than this book and its photos, its lucid descriptions of the art, and of how and where it was found, and its thoughtful discussions of methods and significance. Acid rain and development are causing this art to disappear. We can only hope that this pioneering record of what few have ever seen will inspire others to future discoveries."—Brian Siegel, Anthropology, Furman University
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