Archaeologists investigating a Vietnam-era mock training village on Fort Jackson

Archaeologists are spending the week at Fort Jackson investigating what may have been a Vietnam-era mock training village. 

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Archaeologists are spending the week at Fort Jackson investigating what may have been a Vietnam-era mock training village. But there’s no documentation of it, so they’re working to figure out what’s exactly there.

“It’s over 50 years of age, so it’s considered a historic resource and so they’re wanting us to come out and document. So they don’t exactly know what they have, and that’s what we’re here for. To figure that out,” said Stacey Young, an archaeologist with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. 

Deep in the woods at Fort Jackson, they’ve uncovered a unique system of tunnels that may have at one point lead into buildings.

“Post features that probably would have supported like a hut or something, there’s a tunnel that’s outlined in concrete,” said Young.

The area is surrounded by barbed wire, and no one is exactly sure on the mock village’s design.

“There’s not a lot of documentation on it, so we believe it was put together by soldiers who had experience in Vietnam, came back, and built something from what they believed represented the environment overseas,” said Henry Howe, Director and Curator with the Basic Combat Training Museum on Fort Jackson.

The archaeological team is shovel testing the area, which is about 300 feet by 300 feet. They’re digging square holes every so often and sifting through the dirt to look for clues.

“We’ll either find artifacts or we won’t. So that if we find something that tells us that something happened there and we’ll go back and do a little more investigating,” said Young.

By uncovering more about this mock village, historians will be able to explore how the Army trained soldiers during the Vietnam-Era. They’re guessing this training area was used in the mid-60’s to early 70’s.

“We’ll take the information that we gather and sort of see if there were other villages out here, if we can find those, and how this compares to those with what’s left architecturally,”  said Young.

The archaeologists will be working the rest of this week and possibly next as well, continuing to uncover what the area held.

Categories: Local News, News, State