Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Historic Preservation

Committee Member

Jon B Marcoux

Committee Member

Martha Zierden

Committee Member

Katherine Pemberton

Committee Member

Laurel Bartlett


Some of colonial Charleston’s most significant landscapes are rural savannas. While it is often overlooked, the colonial cattle industry centered in South Carolina’s Lowcountry savannas played a large role in the early economy. Ultimately, the cattle trade provided many of the resources that made Charleston one of the wealthiest cities in colonial America. Today, the preservation of the physical landscapes associated with the cattle industry is more important than ever as issues like climate change and urban growth and development threaten to destroy these historic landscapes.

The purpose of this thesis is to test the applicability of modeling techniques as it relates to the historic cattle industry in colonial South Carolina and determine if modeling can accurately predict sites of colonial cattle grazing relating to the time period from 1670-1750. Using predictive modeling and GIS, this thesis analyzes the environmental criteria within a known area of colonial cattle grazing in order to create a predictive model. While the environmental data sets used to populate the model are from modern surveys, many environmental changes require long periods of time for drastic changes to occur; thus results of the model show the statewide distribution of ideal colonial cattle grazing habitat. Specific results of the model suggest that the most ideal habitat for cattle raising is concentrated along the coastal zone of South Carolina, predominantly in the Sea Islands and Santee Delta regions. This is largely due to the natural geomorphology of these regions and the abundance of proffered fodder for cattle.



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