Chicora Menu

Our Mission
Chicora is a Columbia, South Carolina public, non-profit heritage preservation organization founded in 1983. Our work includes archaeological and historical research throughout the Southeastern United States, public education (primarily right here in South Carolina), and work in conservation and preservation with museums, libraries, archives, historic organizations, and private citizens. With years of experience and hundreds of projects, we are a leader in preservation efforts.

Our Staff

Dr. Michael Trinkley received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina in 1980 and has published numerous scholarly studies with Chicora, the University of Alabama Press, and others. He has over 30 years of preservation experience and has been the director of Chicora Foundation since 1983. Prior to his work with Chicora he was the senior archaeologist with the SC Department of Highways. Dr. Trinkley is a registered consultant with numerous state and international agencies and has served as an expert witness for cemetery and archaeology issues in both South Carolina Circuit Courts and US Federal Court. He has been accepted for membership in the Register of Professional Archaeologists and is also a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Michael Trinkley, Director

Ms. Debi Hacker is Chicora’s Laboratory Supervisor and Education Specialist. She has over 15 years of experience in Southeastern archaeology, including prehistoric work in Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina, as well as historic work throughout South Carolina. Ms. Hacker is a recognized expert in laboratory analysis and conservation of archaeological materials. Prior to joining Chicora she was associated with The Charleston Museum as Assistant Archaeologist. She later served as the Conservation Administrator with the South Carolina State Museum. Ms. Hacker obtained her B.A. in Anthropology from Tulane University and has received additional training conservation, preservation, and landscape architecture.
Debi Hacker, Conservation Administrator/Education Coordinator 


  • Chicora Foundation maintains over a thousand square feet of office and laboratory space, with additional dedicated conservation laboratory space, darkroom capability, and equipment storage.
  • We have equipment on-hand for a variety of survey, testing, and data recovery projects.
  • Chicora routinely uses survey grade GPS (Global Positioning System) to provide extra accuracy for archaeological site locations.
  • Chicora maintains a complete facility for the repair and treatment of stone and iron objects. Staff are certified in Jahn, have received training in the use of US Heritage and Edison materials, and have up-to-date training.
  • We use a SOKKIA reflectorless total station for forensic, cemetery, and archaeological recordation projects – providing the maximum accuracy. Our photography is conducted with both Nikon digital and film cameras.
  • Chicora maintains a 4,000+ volume library, including monographs and serial publications from throughout the region. We have an extensive library of conservation and cemetery preservation literature, as well as an excellent collection of forensic archaeology and forensic anthropology resources.
  • Our in-house computer capabilities include everything necessary to provide detailed analysis and report publication.
  • Our fleet of 4-wheel drive vehicles ensures that we have access wherever necessary to provide our clients with the service they require.



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