BEAUFORT, S.C. — Archeologists are beginning a monthlong dig at the site of a fort on the South Carolina coast built almost three centuries ago.

The Beaufort Gazette reports that the work is being done at Fort Frederick, which was completed in 1734.

The British fort near what is now Port Royal was to protect settlers against attacks from the Spanish and American Indians. The fort was abandoned less than 20 years later and replaced by another nearby.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Heritage Trust is conducting the dig at the site where tabby foundations remain. Tabby is a kind of concrete made with sand and oyster shells.

The 3-acre site was bought by the Navy in 1945 for the Naval Hospital Beaufort and was later donated to the state.

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Information from: The Beaufort Gazette, http://www.beaufortgazette.com