This scallop shell lies at the dock's entrance to Sunbury Crab Company. It reminded me of similar scallop shell symbols throughout the Coastal South – specifically in Florida (originally a Spanish territory).
Historically, the scallop shell often symbolized the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James). The Camino is a huge network of ancient routes used for the pilgrimage to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
The lines in the scallop shell are representative of these numerous trails – all leading to one point. This point, or destination, is the location of the tomb of James (one of the Twelve Apostles), which is believed to be in northwestern Spain. During the Middle Ages, the Camino was responsible for the largest movement of people in Europe. Once the pilgrims had completed their journey, they would pick out a scallop shell from the nearby coastal town of Finisterre. Finisterre was said to be the end of the earth – ‘finis’ meaning end and ‘terre’ meaning earth.
The symbol has spanned centuries and continents – making its way to our region. Today, treking the Camino is still a popular recreational activity, with over a quarter of a million visitors completing the journey annually.
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!