From the City of Charleston:
Workers in the City of Charleston’s Department of Parks unearthed some potential new treasures while performing routine work in Marion Square. The workers were beginning the process of removing a large stump in the southwest corner of the park, and exposed portions of at least two brick structures. Work was stopped immediately to allow for consultations with archaeologists. Marion Square and the surrounding area were central to the defense of Charleston during the Revolutionary War. This portion of the park was not included in the archaeological explorations performed prior to the park renovation in 2000 due to the limited scope of improvements planned for the immediate area. Initial theories about the artifacts.
The City will have archaeological consultants working in conjunction with its staff during the removal of the stump, and will carefully document the artifacts that are found. Should any military artifacts be recovered, they will be conserved and given to the Washington Light Infantry/Sumter Guard, the owners of Marion Square. Other non-military items will be stored at the Charleston Museum.
While the exact age of the tree which had died is not known, it is estimated to be well over 100 years old. The remnants of a Laurel Oak that died suddenly in 2006, the stump was left until a decision was made about what to do with it. Several proposals for utilizing the stump in situ were considered, and the Robert Ivey Ballet Company made it the centerpiece of a performance during the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Children’s Festival. After careful deliberation, the City decided that it will be removing the stump and installing new landscaping. During the stump removal and archaeological portions of this project, the area will be off limits to the public. City code prohibits metal detecting, treasure hunting or digging in public spaces, and the site is being closely observed.