Historical Archaeology: Contents & Abstracts, Vol. 31, 1997

Vol. 31, No. 1 - Spring: Contents; Preface

Vol. 31, No. 2 - Summer: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 31, No. 3 - Fall: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 31, No. 4 - Winter: Contents; Abstracts


VOL. 31, NO. 1 - Contents


Diversity and Social Identity in Colonial Spanish America:
Native American, African, and Hispanic Communities During the Middle Period

ARTICLES

Preface
Donna L. Ruhl and Kathleen Hoffman, 1

Cross-Disciplinary Themes in the Recovery of the Colonial Middle Period
Kathleen Deagan, 4

Native American, African, and Hispanic Communities During the Middle Period in Colonial America
John E. Kicza, 9

A Peripheral Perspective
Amy Turner Bushnell, 18

Cultural Development in La Florida
Kathleen Hoffman, 24

Oranges and Wheat: Spanish Attempts at Agriculture in La Florida
Donna L. Ruhl, 36

Restoring Seventeenth-Century New Mexico, Then and Now
John L. Kessell, 46

Consolidation of the Colonial Regime: Native Society in Western Central America
Janine Gasco, 55

Negotiating Calidad: The Everyday Struggle for Status in Mexico
Richard Boyer, 64

Hispanic, Andean, and African Influences in the Moquequa Valley of Southern Peru
Greg Charles Smith, 74

Africans in the Spanish Colonies
Jane Landers, 84

References, 92


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VOL. 31, NO. 1 - Preface


Donna L. Ruhl & Kathleen Hoffman

It is generally accepted that the initial years of contact and European settlement of the Americas witnessed cataclysmic change as a European world came into contact with radically different Native American cultural systems and an unfamiliar natural environment. Since the beginning of European colonization of the Americas in 1492, scholars have been fascinated by the impact of this momentous intermingling of Europe and the Americas. Consequently, a wealth of research exists concerning the nature of European expansion into the Atlantic world during the 15th through 18th centuries. Much of the work regarding the European colonization of the Americas focuses on the sometimes fantastic initial adventures of the European explorers, the demise of the native populations, and the European political and economic institutions of colonization.

Somewhat less attention has been directed to understanding the emergence of European-American colonial societies. These latter efforts have tended to concentrate on either the initial encounter or established colonial society, leaving much of the immediate post-contact period of adjustment ignored, the "middle period" as defined in this volume.

Diversity and Social Identity in Colonial Spanish America: Native American, African, and Hispanic Communities During the Middle Period explores the impact of Hispanic settlement in the decades that follow the first encounters in the Americas (Figure 1). Important economic, social, and political changes took place in Spain and the colonial world that dramatically affected the nature of Spanish-Indian interaction, changed both Native American and colonial societies, and altered the roles of Africans in Spanish America. Yet, from both an archaeological and historical perspective, this middle period has often been overlooked.

This oversight has hampered our understanding of Spanish colonization and settlement in terms of cultural transformations and the development of an established cultural tradition. An understanding of both the range of choices made within colonial society and the consistencies and differences across societal boundaries can contribute to a more comprehensive model of post-contact cultural development in the Americas. The collection of papers in this volume originated as part of a symposium, entitled "Between Encounters and Crystallization: Choices, Concessions, and Change in Native American, African, and Hispanic Communities during the Seventeenth Century in the Americas," which was presented at the 1994 Society for Historical Archaeology Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology in Vancouver, British Columbia. The symposium was intended to address the choices, concessions, and changes in Native American, African, and Hispanic communities in the aftermath of contact. To this end, all of the participants were asked to think about the middle period as the proverbial black box, and to address Native American, African, and European influences in the development of Spanish-American colonial society. Its regional perspective not only invites comparison between initial responses to settlement but also highlights specific regional reactions to the economic, political, and social events of this neglected period.

This issue, therefore, addresses the cultural and historical forces that influenced the development of colonial society during the critical "middle" era between initial encounters and the emergence of a well-established colonial identity. The investigation of this often neglected period of Spanish colonial social development from both a historical archaeological and a historical perspective promotes the kind of interdisciplinary interaction and exchange of ideas upon which historical archaeology has been built. It is our hope that the work represented in this publication will provide an important body of data concerning the development of a unique Spanish-American cultural tradition in the Americas, and that these late will be used as a comparative base for the exploration of cultural development in other parts of the American colonial world.

A number of individuals and institutions contributed to the success of the symposium and the completion of this publication. First, we would like to thank all of the contributors for agreeing to participate in the symposium and for their diligence, patience, and scholarly contributions in fitting this manuscript to press. Our intent to Corporate both archaeological and historical Perspectives would obviously not have been possible without their participation. The archaeological insights into Native American and Hispanic communities in Central America, Peru, and Florida provided by Jan Gasco, Greg Smith, and ourselves narrowed the archaeological gap of the "middle period." In so doing, these papers helped us widen our understanding of regional differences in Spanish-America.


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VOL. 31, NO. 2 - Contents


ARTICLES

Response to a Market: Dating English Underglaze Transfer-Printed Wares
Patricia M. Samford, 1

Tombs and Testaments: Morturary Practices During the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries in the Spanish- Venezuelan Catholic Tradition
Alberta Zucchi, 20

Class, Gender, and the Built Environment: Deriving Social Relations from Cultural Landscapes in Southwest Michigan
Deborah L. Rotman and Michael S. Nassaney, 42

Material Culture and African-American Spirituality at the Hermitage
Aaron E. Russell, 63

The Archaeology of Maroon Societies in the Americas: Resistance, Cultural Continuity, and Transformation in the African Diaspora
Terry Weik, 81

Settlement Patterning on the British Caribbean Island of Tobago
Christoper Ohm Clement, 93

REVIEWS

Edited by Vergil E. Noble

Schrire: Digging Through Darkness: Chronicles of an Archaeologist
John P. McCarthy, 107

Leone and Silberman: Invisible America: Unearthing Our Hidden History
Vergil E. Noble, 108

Burly, Hamilton, and Fladmark: Prophecy of the Swan: The Upper Peace River Trade of 1794-1823
Heinz Pyszczyk, 110

Arkush: The Archaeology of CA-MNO-2122: A Study of the Pre-Contact and Post-Contact Lifeways Among the Mono Basin Paiute
Lester A. Ross, 112

Pollan, Gross, Earls, Pollan, and Smith: Nineteenth Century Transfer-Printed Ceramics from the Townsite of Old Velasco (41BO125), Brazoria County, Texas: An Illustrated Catalogue
David Colin Crass, 115

Linebaugh and Robinson: Spatial Patterning in Historical Archaeology: Selected Studies in Settlement
Susan Lawrence, 116

Catts, Hodny, Guttman, and Doms: The Archaelogy of Rural Artisans: Final Investigations at the Mermaid Shop Sites, State Route 7 - Limestone Road, New Castle County, Delaware
W. Stephen McBride, 118

Crumley: Historical Ecology: Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes
Charles E. Cleland, 119

Spude and Spude: East Base Historic Monument, Stonington Island, Antarctic Peninsula: Part 1. Guide for Management; Part 2. Description of Cultural Resources and Recommendations
Glenn Simpson, 121


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VOL. 31, NO. 2 - Article Abstracts


Patricia M. Samford

Response to a Market: Dating English Underglaze Transfer-Printed Wares

ABSTRACT: At the end of the 18th century, the Staffordshire pottery industry began transfer printing designs on refined earthenwares. Gaining immediate acceptance from both the British and American markets, printed earthenwares remained immensely popular until the mid- 19th century. Hundreds of printed patterns were produced, and these patterns formed distinctive decorative styles based on central motifs and borders. Using characteristics of datable, marked vessels as a database, this study establishes a chronology for dating printed earthenwares base on decorative styles and color.

Alberta Zucchi

Tombs and Testaments: Mortuary Practices During the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries in the Spanish-Venezuelan Catholic Tradition

ABSTRACT: The paper synthesizes data obtained from the excavation and observation of several western Venezuelan cemeteries of the 17th to 19th centuries, with documentary information obtained from testaments and other written sources of the same period on Spanish funerary ritual. The combination of these two lines of evidence has permitted a preliminary reconstruction of the characteristics of the Venezuelan colonial burial practices, and some of the changes that occurred through time.

Deborah L. Rotman, Michael S. Nassaney

Class, Gender, and the Built Enviornment: Deriving Social Relations from Cultural Landscapes in Southwest Michigan

ABSTRACT: The houses, barns, and gardens that comprise cultural landscapes embody information about their makers because the built environment actively serves to create, reproduce, and transform social relations. Members of society use space to reinforce and resist relations of power, authority, and inequality by organizing the landscape to facilitate the activities and movements of some individuals, while concurrently constraining others. Historical investigations indicate that the occupants of the village of Plainwell, Michigan, have witnessed political, economic, and social changes at the local, regional, and national level since the mid-19th century. Yet, archaeological investigations of the Woodhams site (20AE852)--a residential homelot in Plainwell--provides evidence for considerable continuity in class and gender relations, despite transformations in American society at these multiple scales of analysis.

Aaron E. Russell

Material Culture and Arican-American Spirituality at the Hermitage

ABSTRACT: In this article, artifacts excavated from 19th-century African-American contexts at the Hermitage plantation near Nashville, Tennessee, are examined in light of their possible use in religious ritual, traditional healing, and other behaviors related to spirituality. While specific spiritual behaviors cannot be determined from the Hermitage archaeological and documentary record, the presence of a distinct African-American belief system at the Hermitage is suggested through comparison of selected artifacts from the Hermitage assemblage with various historical, forkloric, and archaeological sources. This belief system and its associated behaviors may have aided African Americans in achieving limited social and economic autonomy within the system of plantation slavery.

Terry Weik

The Archaeology of Maroon Societies in the Americas: Resistance, Cultural Continuity, and Transformation in the African Diaspora

ABSTRACT: Archaeology has been initiated in Maroon sites in various parts of the African Diaspora in the Americas. Data from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Florida, and North Carolina were surveyed in order to examine the directions that studies of Maroon societies have taken. An assessment is in order so that future studies can be planned with cognizance of the problems and possibilities that current research has uncovered. Approaches, theories, and archaeological evidence are analyzed and critiqued, and placed within the context of African Diaspora archaeology. The archaeology of Maroon sites is a rich and virtually untapped area of study. The archaeological study of Maroon sites will advance our knowledge of Africans in the Americas by fostering new perspectives on traditional concepts such as ethnicity, resistance, cultural contact, and cultural continuity and change.

Christopher Ohm Clement

Settlement Patterning on the British Caribbean Island of Tobago

ABSTRACT: Sugar planters on Tobago faced a variety of challenges. Foremost among these were creating and maintaining the economic viability of their estates while subjugating a vastly larger enslaved population. As a minority cultural group, however, planters were also faced with the task of reaffirming their own identities as British subjects. These goals were met by constructing a landscape that offered communications, familiarity, and symbolic power. Sugar estate layouts can be interpreted functionally by focusing on the issues of sugar production and control of an enslaved labor force. This paper adds a third dimension by examining the production of sugar and the control of labor from the perspective of the estate house and its relationship to the larger landscape. Additional hypotheses that could account for settlement choices are presented where production and control are insufficient explanation for patterned arrangements.


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VOL. 31, NO. 3 - Contents


ARTICLES

Introduction
Carol McDavid, 1

Introduction
David W. Babson, 3

The Search for My African-American Ancestry
John Baker, Jr., 7

Pre-Emancipation Archaeology: Does It Play in Selma, Alabama?
Linda Derry, 18

Toward "True Acts of Inclusion": The "Here" and the "Out There" Concepts in Public Archaeology
Ywone Edwards-Ingram, 27

"Power to the People": Sociopolitics and the Archaeology of Black Americans
Maria Franklin, 36

Necessary but Insufficient: Archaeology Reports and Community Action
James G. Gib, 51

"Leveling the Playing Field" in the Contested Territory of the South African Past: A "Public" versus a "People's" Form of Historical Archaeology Outreach
Patrice L. Jeppson, 65

Seizing Intellectual Power: The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground
Cheryl J. LaRoche and Michael L. Blakey, 84

Where Do We Go from Here? Researching and Interpreting the African-American Experience
Christy S. Matthews, 107

Descendants, Decisions, and Power: The Public Interpretation of the Archaeology of the Levi Jordan Plantation
Carol McDavid, 114

Cheers of Protest? The Public, the Post, and the Parable of Learning
M. Drake Patten, 132

Commentary: Past Is Present: Comments on "In the Realm of Politics: Prospects for Public Participation in African-American and Plantation Archaeology"
Michael L. Blakey, 140

Commentary: Facing the Challenges of a Public African-American Archaeology
Theresa A. Singleton, 146


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VOL. 31, NO. 3 - Article Abstracts


John Baker, Jr.

The Search for My African American Ancestry

ABSTRACT: As a genealogist and historian, I approach archaeology as an outsider, as one whose greatest interest in the discipline is in its ability to aid me in my research. From this perspective, I feel I am like many members of the public--I care more about the results of archaeology than about the means and methods it employs to get to those results. This paper describes my collaboration with archaeologists conducting a dig at Wessyngton plantation, the home and workplace of my ancestors before and after Emancipation. Wessyngton plantation, and my ancestors' lives there, have been the primary subjects of my research since 1976. This paper is in two parts. The first summarizes my research about the African-American people of Wessyngton, describing what I have learned about their identities and lives through my study of genealogy and history. The second part describes my work with the archaeologists and presents my thoughts on what directions archaeologists should take in working with the people who need their help in answering important questions.

Linda Derry

Pre-Emancipation Archaeology: Does It Play in Selma, Alabama?

ABSTRACT: This paper is a first-person narrative of one archaeologist's struggle to achieve public participation in the archaeology of pre-emancipation Alabama. This account details the difficulties of working in a polarized community, famous both for its plantation past and its 20th-century racial strife. Successful participation by local African Americans was only possible after the archaeologist's academic interest in slavery took a back seat to the needs of the community. Ten years of failures and some successes are summarized. Concluding remarks outline the lessons learned.

Ywone Edwards-Ingram

Toward "True Acts Of Inclusion": The "Here" and the "Out There" Concepts in Public Archaeology

ABSTRACT: There is room in public archaeology for "true acts of inclusion" that achieve the creative involvement of diverse audiences in projects. Many historical archaeologists are concerned with social responsibility, representation, and the need to reconcile the "Here " of archaeology with the "Out There" of public education. The practice of African-American archaeology and dissemination of information about this increasingly important aspect of historical archaeology reveal achievements and unfulfilled potentials of public education in archaeology.

Maria Franklin

"Power To The People": Sociopolitics and the Archaeology of Black Americans

ABSTRACT: This article is concerned with the sociopolitics of African-American archaeology. The intent here is to prompt archaeologists to think more about how our research affects black Americans today, and therefore why it is necessary that they be encouraged to take an interest in archaeological endeavors. The success or failure of our attempts to establish ties with black communities depends on us. The main emphases of this article are, therefore, focused on raising our level of awareness to the challenges we face, and increasing understanding as to the variable histories and perspectives that the diverse and knowledgeable black American public possesses and will hopefully share with archaeologists.

James G. Gibb

Necessary but Insufficient: Plantation Archaeology Reports and Community Action

ABSTRACT: From broken pots, rusted fishhooks, and scraps of bone, archaeologists bring to light aspects of African-American life on antebellum plantations. But it is a dim light, shared by a few through technical reports and scholarly journal articles. This paper examines the distillation of information and ideas from technical reports into publications written specifically for nonarchaeologists. Historical and genealogical society journals, museum newsletters, and church bulletins provide venues through which archaeologists can convey not just what they are doing, but what they have learned. That knowledge has value in the political arena.

Patrice L. Jeppson

"Leveling the Playing Field" in the Contested Territory of the South African Past: A "Public" Versus a "People's" Form of Historical Archaeology Outreach

ABSTRACT: In South Africa, the legacy of colonialism and apartheid includes a history of partisan concepts of ethnic and social identity. The long charged, sociopolitical context has also affected research questions, as well as public interpretations, about the past. Today, there are calls for a new past for the new South Africa. Historical archaeology can provide both a methodology and raw materials which South Africans can use to form their own interpretations of their past helping, in turn, to engender pride through a historical consciousness emancipated from colonial and apartheid ideology. This article presents an overview of this complex and changing research context and its implications for a historical archaeology study of South African frontier identity. Research and "public" archaeology efforts concerning material and mythical perspectives of ethnicity are discussed. Employed in a cross-context comparison with African-American research, this study highlights the need for decolonized historical archaeology outreach.

Cheryl J. LaRoche, Michael L. Blakey

Seizing Intellectual Power: The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground

ABSTRACT: The New York African Burial Ground Project embodies the problems, concerns, and goals of contemporary African-American and urban archaeology. The project at once has informed and has been informed by the ever-watchful African Americans and New York public. It is a public that understands that the hypothetical and theoretical constructs that guide research are not value-free and are often, in fact, politically charged. An ongoing dialogue between the concerned community, the federal steering committee, the federal government, and the archaeological community has proved difficult but ultimately productive. The project has an Office of Public Education and Interpretation which informs the public through a newsletter, educators' conferences, and laboratory tours. The public, largely students, attends laboratory tours which often provide initial exposure to archaeology and physical anthropology. Much of this public involvement, however, was driven by angry public reaction to the excavation of a site of both historical prominence and spiritual significance.

Christy S. Matthews

Where Do We Go from Here? Researching and Interpreting the African-American Experience

ABSTRACT: Museums are striving to improve or incorporate the experiences of African Americans into their interpretations. In doing so, they are challenged to answer questions that relate to issues of historical relevance to the contemporary society, historical ownership, and perspective. Answering these questions requires that consideration be given to the community that is served by the institution, current exhibition, and interpretive trends. Recent scholarship and a steadfast desire to "tell it like it was" are extremely important in a climate where the misinformed often have loud voices. Colonial Williamsburg has had to grapple with these and other issues during the last 15 years as we have helped advance the interpretation of slavery and the early African-American experience at historic sites.

Carol McDavid

Descendants, Decisions, and Power: The Public Interpretation of the Archaeology of the Levi Jordan Plantation

ABSTRACT: Archaeological data from the Levi Jordan plantation in Brazoria County, Texas, indicate that the African Americans who lived on this plantation participated in many activities, several of African origin, that functioned to insure this community's survival in an increasingly oppressive outside world. Ethnographic data indicate that many descendants of the plantation's residents, African American and European American, still live in the Brazoria area, and that these descendants continue to negotiate issues of power and control. Any public interpretation of this archaeology will necessarily deal with diverse understandings of race and history in present- day Brazoria County. This paper will describe the political and organizational strategies being employed by a team of descendants, archaeologists, and other community members to plan and implement public interpretations that are "inclusive" of the various histories and archaeologies of the plantation's ancestors: pre- and post-emancipation African Americans as well as planters.

M. Drake Patten

Cheers of Protest? The Public, the Post, and the Parable of Learning

ABSTRACT: In 1994, the Washington Post decried the appointment of a white archaeologist to excavate an African-American site in Charlottesville, Virginia. Considerable discussion resulted: in the media, in the Smithsonian's African American Archaeology Newsletter, and at conferences. Charlottesville held a similar debate between the public and the academy. What story was to be told? Who would tell the story? Would it get told at all? Both debates are embedded in historic and modern relationships of race and class. By the nature of our work, many historical archaeologists are forced to enter these debates or walk away from them. These issues, then become fundamental to involving and exciting the public about what we do. This paper explores the nature of the Charlottesville debate, suggesting that archaeology can be a meaningful form of activism, provided that it yields to the needs of the public it hopes to engage.


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VOL. 31, NO. 4 - Contents


ARTICLES

J. C. Harrington Medal in Historical Archaeology
James Deetz 1997, 1

Archaeological Expedition Humor
The Mules Knew the Way, J.C. Harrington, 5

Gunflint Production in the Monti Lessini, Italy
J. Ned Woodall, Stephen T. Trage, and Roger W. Kirchen, 15

The 17th-Century Cemetery at St. Mary's city: Mortuary Practices in the Early Chesapeake
Timothy B. Riordan, 28

Landuse Reconstruction at the Founding Settlement of Las Vegas, Nevada
James Schoenwetter and John W. Hohmann, 41

"This Great Wild Tract": Hemy David Thoreau, Native Americans, and the Archaeology of Estabrook Woods
James C. Garman, Paul A. Russo, Stephen A. Mrozowski, and Michael A. Volmar, 59

Secret and Sacred: Contextualizing the Artifacts of African-American Magic and Religion
Laurie A. Wilkie, 81

REVIEWS

Edited By Vergil E. Noble

Gibb: The Archaeology of Wealth: Consumer Behavior in English America
Louann Wurst, 107

Roberts: Landscapes of Settlement: Prehistory to the Present
Eric L. Larsen, 108

Nelson, Nelson, and Wylie: Equity Issues for Women in Archaeology
Amanda Gronhovd, 110

Comer: Ritual Ground: Bent's Old Fort, World Formation, and the Annexation of the Southwest
Barbara J. Little, 112

Tummon and Gray: Before and Beyond Sainte-Marie: 1987-1990 Excavations at the Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Site Complex (circa 1200-1990)
Gregory A. Waselkov, 114

Shomette: Tidewater Time Capsule: History Beneath the Patuxent
James P. Delgado, 116

Terrell: The James River Bateau: Tobacco Transport in Upland Virginia 1745-1840
Robyn P. Woodward, 117

Griffin: Fifty Years of Southeastern Archaeology: Selected Works of John W. Griffin
Brinnen Carter, 119

Galloway: Choctaw Genesis 1500-1700
Jeffrey M. Mitchem, 121

Rountree: Powhatan Foreign Relations 1500-1722
Charles R. Ewen, 122

Waselkov and Braund: William Bartram on the Southeastern Indians
Shannon Lee Dawdy, 124

Foster et al: The Mexican Potters of Prado
David O. Brown, 126

Crass and Brooks: Cotton and Black Draught: Consumer Behavior on a Postbellum Farm
Ellen Shlasko, 127

Rogge, McWatters, Keane, and Emmanuel: Raising Arizona's Dams: Daily Life, Danger, and Discrimination in the Dam Construction Camps of Central Arizona, 1890s-1940s
Mary L. Maniery, 129

Mrozowski, Ziesing, and Beaudry: Living on the Boott: Historical Archaeology at the Boott Mills Boarding Houses, Lowell, Massachusetts
Donna L. Turnipseed, 130

Mires and Bullock: The Farmer and the Gatekeeper: Historical Archaeology and Agriculture in Early Carson City, Nevada
Shawn B. Carlson, 132


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J. C. Harrington Medal in Historical Archaeology: JAMES DEETZ 1997


In describing his own career, James Deetz picked the year 1948 as a place to begin, observing that it was not only the year he graduated from high school, but also the year he went off to Harvard College from his hometown of Cumberland, Maryland. He was, to use his words, "an early case of affirmative action, providing for the admission of hillbillies to Ivy League institutions." At Harvard, Jim changed from premed to anthropology in his freshman year, and embarked on a period of undergraduate and graduate training in anthropology at Harvard, interrupted only by four years of service in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

Before he enlisted in the Air Force, Jim spent a long field season working for Don Lehmer salvaging sites slated to be drowned by the construction of the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River. After returning to Harvard to complete his undergraduate studies--he received his B.A. cum laude in 1957, Jim spent more time working on the River Basin Survey, notably at the Medicine Crow site, also in the Missouri River drainage. This project would form the basis of his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled "An Archaeological Approach to Kinship.

Change in Eighteenth Century Arikara Culture," which he submitted in 1960. That fall he began his university teaching career with an appointment as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The same year that Jim did dissertation fieldwork in South Dakota, 1958, he met Harry Hornblower II, the man who would introduce him to the archaeology of "the Pilgrims" and to the world of outdoor living history museums. Harry's family had donated the land to establish Plimoth Plantation, an outdoor reconstruction devoted to telling the story of the Pilgrims in the year 1627, just prior to their dispersal through what became Plymouth Colony. He needed someone to advise him on Native American exhibits, and he turned to his old friend John Otis Brew for advice. Brew, who was also Deetz's mentor at Harvard, put the two men together, forever changing the nature of Jim's career as an anthropological archaeologist, and profoundly altering the way that the Pilgrims would come to be understood by the American public in the years ahead.

J. O. Brew, a recognized pioneer in early historic sites archaeology, had known Harry Hornblower since the latter's undergraduate days just before World War II when Hornblower was a Harvard undergraduate, digging on the early house sites of Pilgrims in the Plymouth area along with fellow members of the Harvard Excavators Club. It was just such a site, the Joseph Howland house in Kingston, Massachusetts, that brought Jim Deetz into the field of North American colonial archaeology. His excavation there in 1959 was undertaken while he was completing his very innovative analysis of Arikara ceramics from the Medicine Crow site. At the same time he was using an IBM mainframe computer to discover "stylistic coherence" on over two thousand rim sherds from central South Dakota, Deetz was using a set of 1/64-in. drill bits to date the pipe stems that would help him establish an occupation sequence for the Howland site.

After Jim's faculty appointment at Santa Barbara he became a "bicoastal" archaeologist, dividing his summers between Plymouth, where he, wife Jody, and growing family stayed in a beach house owned by Plimoth Plantation, and Santa Barbara, where he worked on several excavations in Santa Barbara County, most notably at Mission La Purísima in Lompoc, California. The first half of the 1960s was very important to Deetz's career. He began friendships and collaborations with colleagues that in some cases still continue. He attracted a loyal and talented group of students at Santa Barbara, as well as earned a huge following through his very popular introductory courses. He also taught on several occasions at his alma mater, and it was during one of these teaching stints, in the summer of 1963, that Jim discovered gravestones in the Concord, Massachusetts, cemetery.

During this period, his doctoral dissertation on the Arikara, which was published by the University of Illinois Press as The Dynamics of Stylistic Change in Arikara Ceramics, caught the eye of a number of prehistorians who were doing similar kinds of studies in the American Southwest, trying to link principles of social organization with artifact patterning at the attribute level. Deetz's case study correlating ceramic design to residence patterns, and by inference to rules of descent and kinship terminology, was presented in a number of forums, including a very important symposium at the 1965 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Denver. This symposium was later published in 1968 under the editorship of Lewis and Sally Binford as New Perspectives in Archaeology, a book that became required reading for "New Archaeologists" everywhere.

Through this and other unintended associations, Jim Deetz became for some a poster boy for "New Archaeology," though in presentation and content his work was in direct contrast to the stridency that characterized the archaeological rhetoric of the early 1960s. Mislabeled or not, Deetz joined a group of American archaeologists who became internationally known for their contributions to the general theory of anthropological archaeology, a reputation based on their apparent success at discovering patterning in archaeological data that reflected changes in domains of past human behavior of interest to students of ethnography and ethnology. Jim Deetz would soon add to his general reputation in anthropological archaeology when he and Ted Dethlefsen published their first account of the dynamics of stylistic change evident in gravestone design motifs from a large sample of New England cemeteries.

The first gravestone paper was published in 1967, the year that I met Jim Deetz for the first time, when he lectured on this subject to the introductory cultural anthropology course I was taking at Brown. Another of my teachers, Doug Anderson, had brought Deetz to my attention a year before, when the deal to bring him from Santa Barbara to Brown had been negotiated. I had never heard of James Deetz and, always having been a literal learner, I immediately wanted to know if he was mentioned in our textbook, the first volume of Gordon Willey's (1966) An Introduction to American Archaeology. Deetz was nowhere to be found in the text or bibliography. As a first-semester sophomore just deciding to major in anthropology, I had yet to understand the reasons for Doug Anderson's excitement. Deetz's arrival the next academic year as a professor in Brown's then department of Sociology and Anthropology quickly changed all that, marking the beginning of an important new chapter in his career, and a significant one for the development of the field.

The next fall, Deetz offered the introductory course in human prehistory for the first time at Brown, a course that would become one of the largest and most popular lecture courses offered at the school in that period. We used his newly-published introductory text, Invitation to Archaeology, one of the most innovative books of its kind ever published. In addition to using materials from the various projects he had been working on since 1958 to explain and illustrate basic concepts and techniques in archaeology, Jim developed an explicit linguistic model for artifact manufacture and use that formalized his thinking about what he termed "the mental template." In this chapter, written in 1966, Deetz anticipated his adoption of a more explicit structuralist approach to material culture in the early 1970s. These ideas began to crystallize as he developed a new course, American Material Culture, which he first offered in the fall of 1971, but his pursuit of this approach had received a major boost two years before when he was introduced to Henry Glassie, a folklorist who had himself just turned to structuralism as a model for understanding folk material culture.

It is fair to say that the friendship and collaboration between Deetz and Glassie was one of the major influences on the development of material culture theory during this period. Their ideas had a substantial impact on archaeological theory in general, on historical archaeology, and on the research of a range of scholars engaged in the new specialty of material culture studies. Although Deetz introduced some explicitly structuralist ideas such as "the Georgian mindset" in his 1972 analysis of ceramics and foodways in the area of Plymouth Colony, his book, In Small Things Forgotten: The Archaeology of Early American Life, published in 1977, is a culmination of his thinking and teaching during the early 1970s. It fully develops his structuralist interpretation of American material culture, which as he acknowledges owes much to the work of Glassie.

The same year that In Small Things Forgotten was published, Deetz left Brown and spent a year teaching at the College of William and Mary. He never returned to his teaching position at Brown, but spent the summer of 1978 putting his affairs in order at Plimoth Plantation. In late August of that year, he and his family returned to California, where Jim joined the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. This move brought to a close a very productive decade at Plimoth Plantation, where Deetz had made so many fundamental changes in the way that the lives of the Pilgrims were interpreted to the public. As Assistant Director between 1967 and 1978, Deetz had transformed Plimoth Plantation from a mannequin-furnished commemoration of the Mayflower passengers to a vibrant living history museum replete with accurately-costumed character interpreters engaged in the nitty-gritty of daily life. What is more, he extended this approach to the interpretation of the local Native Americans, the Wampanoags, with their blessing and assistance. Very soon after it was developed, the Indian village at Plimoth Plantation was staffed and administered by local Native Americans, one of the first such programs of its kind in the United States.

When he departed for California, Deetz also left behind the fledgling Parting Ways Museum of African American Ethnohistory, an organization devoted to interpreting a small settlement of former slaves, freed after their service in the Revolutionary War and granted nearly one hundred acres of land on the outskirts of Plymouth. Excavations of this community began in the summer of 1975, with a crew made up of local African-American kids who were discovering their heritage with support from a bicentennial grant administered by the town. Although the museum never materialized, this project did much to advance the cause of African-American archaeology as an important area of research within historical archaeology, research that in this case was pursued expressly for the purpose of engaging the local minority community in the interpretation of its own past. Now such programs are commonplace, but Jim Deetz began promoting these efforts more than 25 years ago, long before "social responsibility" and "public outreach" became widely shared imperatives among the archaeological profession.

In leaving New England, Deetz also ended an important chapter for many of us who had been his graduate students at Brown. Although he would remain our advisor and mentor, the program in historical archaeology at Brown would never be the same. But he very quickly attracted a number of new Ph.D. students, including several recruited from the undergraduate program in anthropology at Cal, and others who followed him west. He began to train this new crop of students primarily through research at Flowerdew Hundred farm in Prince George County, Virginia, a property with which he had become acquainted during his year as a visiting professor at William and Mary. He also turned in earnest to projects that took advantage of the interface between historical archaeology and folklife studies. Closest to Berkeley was his multiyear project at the abandoned coal-mining town of Somersville, California. Somewhat further away, Jim worked with a team from the American FoLklife Center to document traditional lifeways in Paradise Valley, Nevada. Twenty years after his first job in the University of California system, Jim Deetz was once again dividing his research time between the two coasts.

Soon, however, he went international, expanding his active research territory to include South Africa, which he first visited in 1984. For the remainder of the 1980s, Deetz, brought graduate and undergraduate students from Berkeley to the Eastern Cape, where they worked on a number of research projects in cooperation with various South African colleagues. During this same period, he kept his summer program at Flowerdew Hundred active as well, running a series of very popular summer institutes for college teachers and a Cal field school. A number of Ph.D. dissertations have been produced from this work, and Deetz himself produced a published synthesis of his work at Flowerdew in 1993. This book, like others he has done, brought together many of the ideas he had been developing through his teaching and other writing in the prior decade.

Jim Deetz had one more cross-country move to make. In the fall of 1993, he accepted an endowed chair at the University of Virginia, leaving some students behind and bringing others with him as he had done when he moved to Berkeley from Brown 15 years earlier. Shortly after his arrival in Charlottesville, Deetz undertook a major revision of his classic In Small Things Forgotten, one which incorporated some of the most significant results of his research in the Chesapeake, notably his ideas about African-American cultural development in the region. At Virginia, Jim has again demonstrated his extraordinary skills as a teacher. His undergraduate offerings have attracted a large following, and he has assembled an outstanding group of doctoral students.

Still, Jim Deetz has reached that stage in his career where he is entitled to reflect on his accomplishments and wonder how others in the profession perceive him. Several years ago he remarked that "after 30 years in the business, I have first been a culture historian, then a New Archaeologist, then a structuralist, and now apparently, a passionate post-structuralist. The fact is, I am not doing things that differently from the way I did in the '60s. I don't think I have changed at all; the transformations have been in the way my work has been perceived by others. Fine! What goes around comes around, but I cannot help but wonder what kind of an archaeologist I will be in the year 2000."

The millennium is still a few years away, but The Society for Historical Archaeology has gone on the record with its collective perception of Jim Deetz, awarding him the 1997 J. C. Harrington Medal, an honor richly deserved by a scholar and teacher who has done more than any other single member of his generation to make historical archaeology a credible pursuit within the discipline of anthropology.

Aside from being a Harrington Medal winner, what kind of archaeologist will Jim Deetz be in the year 2000? It is hard to say. He has recently indicated that his digging days are over, but he is a long way from retirement. Jim has much to look forward to, both professionally and personally. The nine children he and Jody raised have produced 17 grandchildren. Jim and his second wife, Trish Scott, are hard at work on a new book, which interestingly enough takes him back to Plymouth to renew research on probate records he began over 30 years ago. Most importantly, Jim Deetz still has a great group of graduate students, who like those before them will make their contributions to the field in any number of ways. This will certainly be one of his most important legacies, and I know I speak for all of his students, past, present, and future, when I say, "Congratulations, Jim Deetz, and thank you for all that you have done and will do for us and for the discipline of anthropological archaeology."

Marley Brown III


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VOL. 31, NO. 4 - Article Abstracts


J. Ned Woodall, Stephen T. Trage, Roger W. Kirchen

Gunflint Production in the Monti Lessini, Italy

ABSTRACT: Survey and excavation in the Monti Lessini of northern Italy reveal numerous small-scale gunflint production workshops. The location of these is related to the local geology and landuse practices of the 17th through 19th centuries, as well as regional demographics and political events. The recovered artifacts indicate a distinctive type of debitage was produced which allows discrimination of gunflint refuse from prehistoric materials. The stone used is macroscopically identical to French gunflint material commonly identified in historic sites.

Timothy B. Riordan

The 17th-Century Cemetery at St. Mary's City: Mortuary Practices in the Early Chesapeake

ABSTRACT: Excavation of plow zone units in and around the 17th-century Catholic Chapel at St. Mary's City, Maryland, revealed the presence of over 190 grave shafts. Although none of these were excavated, the observable characteristics of these features, such as their orientation, location, and inclusion of rubble in the fill, provide significant insights on the use of the cemetery through time. Grave orientation is suggestedas a sensitive indicator of changing land use at the site. The discovery of a number of smaller features, associated with the graves, is evaluated as evidence of wooden grave markers. Detailed analysis of a part of the cemetery is used to suggest the absence of the clergy during an unsettled period in Maryland history.

James Schoenwetter, John W. Hohmann

Landuse Reconstruction at the Founding Settlement of Las Vegas, Nevada

ABSTRACT: Integration of artifactual, architectural, historical, geoarchaeological, faunal, macrobotanical, and palynological evidence provides the grounds for a model of the landuse history of Las Vegas, Nevada, from the second quarter of the 19th century until 1905. The integrated model reinforces and elaborates upon landuse changes noted in the historic record, but adds details to support a processual, explanatory, analysis that is not well-evidenced by available documentation. From this perspective, the landuse history of Las Vegas appears always to have been more significantly influenced by socioeconomic factors than ecological conditions a reality that continues to the present day.

James C. Garman, Paula A. Russo, Stephen A. Mrozowski, Michael A. Volman

"This Great Wild Tract": Henry David Thoreau, Native Americans, and the Archaeology of Estabrook Woods

ABSTRACT: In an 1857 journal entry, Henry David Thoreau described a visit to what he described as a Native American cornfield in Estabrook Woods, a remote portion of Concord, Massachusens. He noted that the individual hills extended "in straight rows over the swells and valleys... like the burial ground of some creatures." Recent archaeological investigations in Estabrook Woods have explored both the cornfield and an adjacent 18th-century farmstead. This paper draws links between landscape change in Concord and larger scale agricultural changes that reshaped the rural communities around Boston. We situate Thoreau's descriptions of Estabrook Woods in a context of wider 19th-century economic turbulence, as well as his lifelong fascination with Native American culture. The article concludes with reflections on the contemporary conflict between development interests and those who admire Thoreau, and the effect of that conflict on the research agenda.

Laurie A. Wilkie

Secret and Sacred: Contextualizing the Artifacts of African-American Magic and Religion

ABSTRACT: Although historical archaeologists have accumulated a large amount of data regarding African-American magical and religious systems, researchers still underestimate the importance of magical and religious systems within African-American communities. In addition, archaeologists seem reluctant to interpret these data in a diachronic manner. Spiritual beliefs affected all arenas of the African-American experience including medicine, childcare, gender, family, and community relations. To properly understand African-American daily life, attention must be paid to spiritual traditions. This paper addresses the role of magical practices within African-American society and the importance of recognizing the role of gender ideologies within magical and religious practice, and proposes a diachronic model for understanding the changing relationship between magic and religion. The model, consisting of three stages of cultural change, Formative, Persisting, and Transformative, provides a means of linking the archaeological and documentary databases. Application of the model to three archaeologically well-studied regions demonstrates that, despite growing interest in the archaeological study of African-American spiritual traditions, archaeological evidence for these traditions is sparse when analyzed diachronically.


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