The 12,000 Year History Park is a unique archeological site in Cayce, South Carolina, where history and nature converge. Over the last 120 centuries, the area has had an array of inhabitants, including mammoths, Native American tribes and Civil War soldiers. The park includes earthworks from an 1865 Civil War battle and is full of stories that offer something for explorers of all ages.
Researchers have discovered artifacts that were made or used 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. The makers of these artifacts utilized evolving technologies that eventually included making clay pots and chipped stone spears.Arrowheads and shattered pots made when the last ice age was ending have also been discovered at the park.
During the Revolutionary War, Rebels and Loyalists fought there, treading the old State Road, which was the main route from Charleston to the Midlands and the Upstate. Researchers have discovered remains of Fort Congaree, which served as a Colonial fortified outpost to regulate the deerskin trade from 1718 to 1722. The fort served as a place of refuge against Indian attack and later as a trading hub for the early settlers.
Guided historical walking tours of the 12,000 Year History Park are offered on Saturdays in the spring and fall.Volunteer guides, trained by the National Park Service, will take you on a walk along the beautiful trail filled with stories of the Battle of Congaree Creek, Fort Congaree and Native American Lifeways. There are also special events throughout the year including Nature Days, Civil War Encampments and Lantern Tours.
Plans for the 12,000 Year History Park call for the interpretation of the layers of history and to also interpret the earthworks from the 1865 Civil War battle so visitors can better understand how the last battle in Columbia occurred. A modern visitor’s center will be at the entrance to the park. The center will orient visitors to the site and provide a space to host educational programs for children and adults.