Horse Island is one of 20 or more prehistoric shell rings located from the central coast of South Carolina to the central coast of Georgia. All are believed to date early in the second millennium BC, and they contain the earliest pottery known in North America. The function of the ring shape is unknown, although the rings appear to be carefully planned and systematically deposited structures. As such, they also present one of the earliest records of sedentary life among people who must have lived entirely by foraging. Marine erosion has removed about 15 percent of the ring, primarily in the southwest quarter. The average diameter of the ring from crest to crest is about 156 feet. The highest point on the ring stands 4 feet above a flat central area and 6 feet above mean sea level. The entire ring is densely covered by trees and undergrowth. The midden is predominantly oyster shell with some other mollusks, animal bone, and pottery sherds present. More than half the site remains intact. Listed in the National Register November 10, 1970



Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, United States


32.7744989, -79.9108001