Reconstructing the layout of a coastal Georgia Plantation: Applications of LiDAR

Amanda D Roberts Thompson*, Jonathan Cedric Finch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a case study using publicly available LiDAR and information from historical records to reconstruct the layout of the South End, a cotton plantation in operation from 1849 to 1861, on Ossabaw Island, Georgia in the southeastern United States. We approach problems such as the lack of maps, extant architecture, or geographically clear areas with an interwoven analysis of primarily-two datasets-LIDAR and historical documentation. Layering the datasets was a crucial component in the case study and allowed for the mapping of the entirety of the South End plantation. Broadening the view to the entire plantation as well as merging the data from LiDAR and the historic record provides the opportunity for future research to use that map as a baseline for not only understanding lost geographies of movement of enslaved individuals but also a way to elucidate the agency of those individuals within a plantation landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103798
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date5 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Plantation archaeology
  • landscape reconstruction
  • topographic analysis

Cite this