ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Native American Sites
MACON COUNTY: NIKWASI MOUND
A small platform mound maintained as a park by the city of Franklin. This mound was built during the Misissippian period. A Cherokee townhouse constructed on top of the mound was described by 18th-century Scottish and British visitors to the site. There was also a village associated with the mound. Neither the mound nor the village have been archaeologically excavated.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: TOWN CREEK INDIAN MOUND
A reconstructed ceremonial center of the Pee Dee culture, in use from about AD 1000 to 1600. The site has been extensively excavated and archaeological information used to reconstruct the platform mound, circular mortuary house, and a sacred square ground on this palisaded site. The site is maintained as a State Historic Site, open year round. In addition to the reconstructed ceremonial center, there is a museum with a variety of exhibits on the Town Creek site and North Carolina archaeology. Guided tours available.
STANLY COUNTY: MORROW MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Of archaeological interest here are a number of quarry sites, which were used for thousands of years by Native Americans as sources of raw material for chipped-stone tools. The type of stone quarried is called rhyolite, and outcrops of this material occur on and around Morrow Mountain's summit. Exhibits on this activity can be found in the park's visitor center.
SWAIN COUNTY: OCONALUFTEE ARCHEOLOGICAL DISTRICT
This district is composed of seven sites located near the educational complex of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
WASHINGTON COUNTY: PETTIGREW STATE PARK
Lake Phelps, a shallow (4-9 feet deep) clear lake, contains 30 submerged dugout canoes, some of them nearly 4,400 years old. One of the excavated canoes is currently on display in a small exhibit which also features information on area wildlife.
Colonial-Period and Later Sites
BEAUFORT COUNTY: TOWN OF BATH
Dating back to 1705, Bath was the first incorporated town in North Carolina. Two restored houses (Palmer-Marsh House and Bonner House) are maintained as State Historic Sites. Each building contains displays on aspects of colonial life in eastern North Carolina.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY: BRUNSWICK TOWN, FORT ANDERSON
Maintained as a State Historic Site, Brunswick Town was in existence between the 1720s and the 1780s. During the Civil War, Fort Anderson was constructed on part of the town site. Archaeological investigations done between the late 1950s and the 1970s uncovered the remains of 25 structures, including houses, churches, and craft buildings. There is an interpretive center at the site, as well as visible archaeological ruins along a wooded path.
DARE COUNTY: FORT RALEIGH
This English fort, occupied between 1585 and 1590, has been reconstructed based on archaeology done there by J. C. Harrington. The site is owned by the National Park Service and is a National Historic Landmark.
DURHAM COUNTY: STAGVILLE
This 19th-century plantation complex is owned by the State of North Carolina. There are several standing structures, including the late 18th-century plantation house, a slave quarter, and a large timber frame barn.
FORSYTH COUNTY: HISTORIC BETHABARA PARK
This archaeological park is the remains of a mid to late 18th-century Moravian community. This property includes a visitor center, reconstructed and original structures, and the foundations of buildings which have been explored archaeologically. Tours available.
FORSYTH COUNTY: OLD SALEM
Reconstructed 18th- and 19th-century Moravian community. Old Salem is a living history site and many structures are open to the public.
HALIFAX COUNTY: HISTORIC HALIFAX
Halifax was a commercial and political center during the 18th century. Four restored buildings maintained by Historic Sites are open for tours and there is a visitor center. Archaeological excavations have taken place at the old jail. The Montfort Interpretive Center is an archaeological exhibit in which walkways bring visitors over the excavated ruins of Joseph Montfort's house.
IREDELL COUNTY: FORT DOBBS
Fort constructed during the French and Indian War to protect settlers. Archaeological excavations have revealed the moat, cellar, magazine area, and well of the fort. There are exhibits which show both the military and civilian life of Fort Dobbs. Operated as a State Historic Site.
WASHINGTON COUNTY: SOMERSET PLACE
Late 18th- and 19th-century plantation with existing house and outbuildings. Archaeological excavations have taken place in the formal gardens, the smokehouse, and at some of the houses and other structures associated with the enslaved African-American community. There is a visitor center and guided tours are available. Somerset Place is operated as a State Historic Site.