Archaeologist and historian Steven D. Smith will kick off the Old Exchange Building’s 2012-13 lecture series on Thursday with a discussion of the Siege of Fort Motte during the Revolutionary War.

The British used the Calhoun County plantation as a supply depot, but it was captured by Francis Marion after a six-day siege in May 1781 — an event that was an important step in breaking the British hold on the South Carolina back country.

Smith, a professor and associate director of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, will talk about artifacts found during the 2005 excavation of the fort, plus a review of the career and campaigns of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.

The lecture is Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Old Exchange Building, 122 East Bay St. Smith’s talk is the first in a series of 12 monthly lectures that the Old Exchange will host between now and September. Local educators, historians and authors will discuss, among other topics, Charleston during the Civil War, the Revolutionary Battle of Cowpens, the Slave Dwelling Project, archaeology at Fort Dorchester, the Powder Magazine, pirates and Prohibition.

You can buy a ticket to all 12 lectures for $40, or $35 for members of Friends of the Old Exchange. Otherwise, tickets to each lecture are $5 at the door. All proceeds benefit the Old Exchange Building. For more information, go to or call 727-2165.