A couple of weeks ago, we posted an article entitled "Digging Treasure out of the Ashley River" where we recounted a fossil hunt that involved digging material and screening it from the bottom of the Ashley River.
This was in error. Should you look now, that post (except for the above picture) has disappeared completely from our site and our social media accounts. We are the company that removed the post. The words that follow are ones that every fossil hunter should read:
No one - that is, NO one person or entity - is allowed to mechanically dig, rake, screen, or otherwise remove submerged archaeological artifacts untouched for 50 years or fossils in the waterways of South Carolina. The only method allowed is removal by hand, unaided by any mechanical device or excavation. This retrieval is only allowed with the acquisition of a Hobby Diver License.
Apply for a Hobby Diver License here.
More information about obtaining licenses and determining which permit is right for you can be found at http://www.artsandsciences.sc.edu/sciaa/mrd/forms.
We apologize greatly for this error, and strongly encourage every prospective SC fossil hunter to familiarize themselves with these permits and policies. To reiterate: no digging, raking, screening, or mechanical removal of artifacts is allowed in any SC waterway.
At Charleston Fossil Adventures, we are adamant advocates for the advancement of science and paleontological and archaeological research and study. Through the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) Maritime Research Division, everyday fossil hunters and visitors can advance scientific research being performed on our state's rich anthropogenic and fossil histories when they apply for a permit.
Please share this article with other fossil hunters and friends and family looking to hunt in the rivers of South Carolina. This is an enforceable policy, and one that should not be taken lightly. Should DNR or MRD find you violating the policy, EVERY artifact recovered will be confiscated and you may face fines.
BUT - yes, there is a silver lining - permit holders who follow the appropriate avenues still experience the reward of discovery, and are allowed to keep their finds as long as nothing is archaeologically or paleontologically significant. (Don't worry, '99%' of hobby-recovered shark teeth are not considered "significant" to science!)
So get out there, and legally, Keep Picking Up!