Historical Archaeology: Contents & Abstracts, Vol. 34, 2000

Vol. 34, No. 1 - Spring: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 34, No. 2 - Summer: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 34, No. 3 - Fall: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 34, No. 4 - Winter: Contents; Abstracts


VOL. 34, NO. 1 - Contents


  • ARTICLES
    • View from the Outhouse: What We Can Learn from the Excavation of Privies
      Kathleen L. Wheeler
    • Theoretical and Methodological Considerations for Excavating Privies
      Kathleen L. Wheeler
    • Filth, Garbage, and Rubbish: Refuse Disposal, Sanitary Reform, and Nineteenth Century Yard Deposits in Washington, D.C.
      Brian D. Crane
    • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Privy Architecture and the Perception of Sanitation
      M. Jay Stottman
    • Interpreting the Latrines of the Johnson's Island Civil War Military Prison
      David R. Bush
    • The Social Organization of a Boardinghouse: Archaeological Evidence from the Buffalo Waterfront
      Elizabeth S. Pena and Jacqueline Denmon
    • The Parity of Privies: Summary Research on Privies in North Carolina
      Linda F. Carnes-Mcnaughton and Terry M. Harper
    • Sanitation Practices, Depositional Processes, and Interpretive Contexts of Minneapolis Privies
      John P. McCarthy and Jeanne A. Ward

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VOL. 34, NO. 1 - Article Abstracts


Kathleen L. Wheeler

Theoretical and Methodological Considerations for Excavating Privies

Abstract: Excavation within privies by arbitrary 10-cm (4 in.) levels is often a necessity because of time and space constraints. However, when archaeologists invest the extra effort to remove privy deposits by natural and cultural strata, they reap great benefits in terms of interpreting construction, use, and maintenance behaviors and in elucidating attitudes about hygiene and sanitation. This work outlines some of the advantages of reconstructing site formation processes (e.g., construction, use, maintenance, and abandonment) within privy shafts from sites in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The author offers recommendations on how to excavate individual deposits using both the profile and the single-layer plan of the Harris matrix and "side-access" excavation.

Brian D. Crane

Filth, Garbage, and Rubbish: Refuse Disposal, Sanitary Reform, and Nineteenth Century Yard Deposits in Washington, D.C.

Abstract: To the archaeologist, the refuse deposits found on domestic sites are a source of information about diet, health, and consumer behavior. Yet to 19th-century health reformers, these deposits were regarded as sources of disease causing offensive odors, or "noxious effluvia." Thus, city officials in Washington first instituted night soil collection (privy contents), then garbage collection (organic refuse), and finally by century's end, rubbish collection (inorganic refuse). Concurrently, city officials passed ever stricter nuisance laws designed to enforce public health policy. How these reforms were enforced, and how the public reacted to them, may say much about the development of attitudes towards cleanliness. Excavations from domestic sites in Washington, D. C. show that refuse disposal practices differed substantially from house to house. The adoption of sanitary practices was far from even, and may have been associated with many factors, including cultural background, occupation, and home ownership, among others.

M. Jay Stottman

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Privy Architecture and the Perception of Sanitation

Abstract: This study examines privy vault architecture, an often underutilized piece of archaeological evidence, to provide another line of evidence for understanding perceptions of sanitation in mid 19th to early 20th-century Louisville, Kentucky. Specific architectural attributes of privy vaults are analyzed in relation to ordinances that regulated the construction of these features. The vault depth, materials used in construction, method of construction, and their proximity to water sources are analyzed. This analysis reveals that misguided sanitary perceptions affected the ordinances pertaining to sanitary issues and the compliance of the ordinances by the public, which were manifested in the way privy vaults were constructed. The intention of this research is to demonstrate the utility of privy vault architecture as archaeological information and to illustrate the potential of interpreting archaeological data in specific contexts. By interpreting the same archaeological information in different contexts, we can begin to understand the multiple meanings of objects in the past, leading to a better understanding of past culture.

David R. Bush

Interpreting the Latrines of the Johnson's Island Civil War Military Prison

Abstract: Investigations of the prison compound latrines from the Johnson's Island Civil War Military Prison site provide a unique opportunity to explore a multitude of questions related to military life and POW treatment during the American Civil War. Johnson's Island (Ohio), a Union prison for Confederate officers, contained special use areas within the compound and their associated latrines which can be evaluated chronologically. Coupled with the extensive primary documentation existing for this prison, investigations to date have centered around how these unique latrines exhibit both the POW experience as well as changing Union policy towards prisoners. These latrines captured lost items, were the repository for primary and secondary deposits reflecting the material culture available to the prisoner at the time, and served as the staging areas for escape attempts.

Elizabeth S. Pena, Jacqueline Denmon

The Social Organization of a Boardinghouse: Archaeological Evidence from the Buffalo Waterfront

Abstract: A contextual analysis of three privies excavated on the Buffalo waterfront yielded information about the structure of daily life in a 19th-century urban environment. The study of these features included the analysis of their structure and artifact content, as well as extensive investigation of the documentary record. This research afforded the opportunity to examine the distinctions between boarders and families in a boardinghouse context. Privies associated with a saloon/boardinghouse were compared with evidence from a single family home. The archaeological evidence suggested the differential use of teawares by the boardinghouse family as a means of distinguishing the familial unit within the larger boardinghouse population. Analysis also indicated that the boardinghouse family enjoyed a somewhat higher standard of living than the neighboring single family household.

Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton, Terry M. Harper

The Parity of Privies: Summary Research on Privies in North Carolina

Abstract: Outdoor latrines have been recorded in North Carolina from a variety of historic sites. Though the function remains the same, their location, architecture, and subsequent contents evidence considerable variation. This paper presents the survey results of archaeologically-recorded privy pits, their contents, and their cultural interpretation. Also included in this study is information gathered from statewide architectural surveys of sites with extant privy buildings. To augment the archaeological and architectural data sets, historical information is abstracted from early State Board of Health records and other public documents. A summary of architectural attributes from the privies reflects the change in structure and sanitation of these buildings against an historical backdrop. The convergence of these privy attributes is offered as a guide to future archaeological investigations and historical preservation projects through use of predictability models.

John P. McCarthy and Jeanne A. Ward

Sanitation Practices, Depositional Processes, and Interpretive Contexts of Minneapolis Privies

Abstract: Throughout the 19th century the rear yards of both urban residences and commercial establishments included wells, cisterns, and privies dedicated to the supply and storage of water and the disposal and management of wastes. As municipal services were introduced these facilities were abandoned. The manner in which these facilities were used, and then subsequently filled, is critical to understanding historic sanitation practices. Further, the analysis of depositional processes is important in defining the interpretive contexts of the artifact assemblages recovered from such features. This paper will present an analysis of sanitation practices and depositional processes for features recently investigated at two sites in downtown Minneapolis. The processes resulting in the deposition of artifact assemblages will be examined, and the behavioral implications of these findings for interpreting artifact assemblages are then discussed. The general state of 19th-century sanitation practices in Minneapolis and the extent of compliance with public health regulations are also considered. It is argued that careful consideration of the character and associative contexts of urban artifact assemblages is necessary to any analytical or interpretive process.


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VOL. 34, NO. 2 - Contents

  • FORUM
    • Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable: Storytelling, Science, and Historical Archaeology
      James G. Gibb
    • Imagination and Archaeological Interpretations: A Methodological Tale
      Kenneth E. Lewis
    • Compelling Images Through Storytelling: Comment on "Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable: Storytelling, Science, and Historical Archaeology"
      Barbara J. Little
    • Scientific Creativity and Creative Science: Looking at the Future of Archaeological Storytelling.
      Larry McKee and Jillian Galie
    • "We Are All Storytellers": Comments on Storytelling, Science, and Historical Archaeology
      Teresita Majewski
    • Reflection, Not Truth, the Hero of My Tale: Responding to Lewis, Little, Majewski, and McKee and Galle
      James G. Gibb
  • ARTICLES
    • The Historic and Paleoclimatic Significance of Log Buildings in Southcentral Texas
      Matthew D. Therrell
    • "The little Spots allow'd them": The Archaeological Study of African-American Yards
      Barbara J. Heath and Amber Bennett
    • Lash's: A Bitter Medicine: Biochemical Analysis of an Historical Proprietary Medicine
      Michael Torbenson, Robert H. Kelly, Jonathon Erlen, Lorna Cropcho, Michael Moraca, Bonnie Beiler, K.N. Rao and Mohamed Virji
    • There's Gold in Them Thar--Documents? The Demographic Evolution of Nevada's Comstock, 1860 through 1910, and the Intersection of Census Demography and Historical Archaeology
      Kenneth H. Fliess
    • Magnetometer Prospecting in Historical Archaeology: Evaluating Survey Options at a 19th-Century Rancho Site in California
      Stephen W. Silliman, Paul Farnsworth and Kent G. Lightfoot
  • REVIEWS

    Edited By Vergil E. Noble
    • Tarlow and West: The Familiar Past? Archaeologies of Later Historical Britain
      Mark P. Leone
    • Mullins : Race and Affluence: An Archaeology of African-American and Consumer Culture
      Pedro Paulo A. Funari
    • Andrén: Between Artifacts and Texts: Historical Archaeology in Global Perspective
      Mark Warner
    • Delle: An Archaeology of Social Space: Analyzing Coffee Plantations in Jamaica's Blue Mountains
      Laurie A. Wilkie
    • Turgeon, Delage, and Ouellet: Transferts culturels et métissages Amérique/Europe XVIe-XXe siècle - Cultural Transfer, America and Europe: 500 Years of Interculturation
      Pierre Drouin
    • Martin and Garrison: American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field
      Mary C. Beaudry
    • Milanich: Laboring in the Fields of the Lord: Spanish Missions and Southeastern Indians
      John Worth
    • Kingery: Learning from Things: Method and Theory in Material Culture Studies
      Jillian Galle
    • Palmer and Neaverson: Industrial Archaeology: Principles and Practice
      David B. Landon
    • King: Cultural Resource Laws and Practice: An Introductory Guide
      Hester A. Davis
    • Blakely and Harrington: Bones in the Basement: Postmortem Racism in Nineteenth-Century Medical Training
      Ashley H. McKeown
    • Flint and Flint: The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva: The 1540-1542 Route Across the Southwest
      Timothy K. Perttula
    • Jensen: The Fontenelle and Cabanné Trading Posts: The History and Archaeology of Two Missouri River Sites, 1822-1838
      Lyle M. Stone
    • James and Raymond: Comstock Women: The Making of a Mining Community
      Leah K. Evans-Janke
    • Mott: The Development of the Rudder: A Technological Tale
      Jack B. Irion
    • Green, Standbury, and Gaastra: The ANCODS Colloquium: Papers Presented at the Australia-Netherlands Colloquium on Maritime Archaeology and Maritime History
      Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton
    • Fox, Renner, and Hard: Archaeology at the Alamodome: Investigations of a San Antonio Neighborhood in Transition (3 Vols.)
      Timothy E. Baumann
    • Tice: Uniform Buttons of the United States, 1776-1865
      Charles S. Bradley
    • Staniforth and Nash: Chinese Export Porcelain from the Wreck of the Sydney Cove (1797)
      Priscilla Wegars
    • Jester: Twentieth Century Building Materials: History and Conservation
      Michael R. Polk
    • Gums, Mounce, and Mansberger: The Kirkpatricks' Potteries in Illinois: A Family Tradition
      Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton
    • Bound: Excavating Ships of War
      Mark J. Staniforth
    • Crisman and Cohn: When Horses Walked on Water: Horse Powered Ferries in Nineteenth-Century America
      Annalies Corbin
    • Starbuck: The Great Warpath: British Military Sites from Albany to Crown Point
      Stanley South
    • Peterson, Mbutu, and Willis: The Union Plaza Downtown El Paso Development Archaeological Project: Overview, Inventory and Recommendations
      Edward Staski
    • Lightfoot, Schiff, and Wake: The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, California, Vol. 2, The Native Alaskan Neighborhood: A Multiethnic Community at Colony Ross
      Thad M. van Bueren
    • Nassaney: Historical Archaeology in Battle Creek, Michigan: The 1996 Field Season at the Warren B. Shepard Site (20CA104)
      Susan R. Snow
    • Nassaney: An Intensive Archaeological Survey of the James and Ellen G. White House Site (20CA118), Battle Creek, Michigan
      Susan R. Snow
    • Gums: The Archaeology of an African-American Neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama
      Paul R. Mullins
    • Stothers, Tucker, and Koralewski: The Dunlap Farmstead: Historical Archaeology at 33WO41, the 19th Century Homestead of Revolutionary War Soldier Robert Dunlap and Family, Middleton Township, Wood County, Ohio
      Mitzi Rossillon
    • Reno: The Charcoal Industry in the Roberts Mountains, Eureka County, Nevada: Final Report of the Mitigation of Adverse Effects to Significant Cultural Properties from Atlas Precious Metals' Gold Bar II Mine Project
      Tim Tumberg
    • Hann and McEwan: The Apalachee Indians and Mission San Luis
      John H. Jameson, Jr.
    • Gartley and Carskadden: Colonial Period and Early 19th-Century Children's Toy Marbles: History and Identifications for the Archaeologist and Collector
      Michael A. Pfeiffer

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VOL. 34, NO. 2 - Article Abstracts


Ames G. Gibb

Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable: Storytelling, Science, and Historical Archaeology

Abstract: "Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable," a phrase coined by L. Daniel Mouer and Ywone Edwards-Ingram at the 1998 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, epitomizes a new approach to archaeological analysis and public interpretation. The suddenness with which examples of storytelling appeared in conferences and publications has left little opportunity for comment, particularly to address the theoretical and methodological issues that underlie this hybrid of science, humanities research, and artistic expression. This commentary suggests that storytelling is more than a means of engaging public audiences: it is a form of archaeological analysis.

Matthew D. Therrell

The Historic and Paleoclimatic Significance of Log Buildings in Southcentral Texas

Abstract: Tree-ring dating has been applied to eight historic log buildings in southcentral Texas. The historic tree-ring chronologies derived from these buildings are combined with chronologies from living trees to create an improved and extended tree-ring record dating from A.D. 1649 to 1995 that is sensitive to regional and large-scale climate change. This extended chronology is significantly correlated with meteorological measurements of growing season moisture supply in Texas, and with the episodic influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Tree-ring dating provides insight into the history and archaeology of these buildings. Historic structures also preserve crucial paleoclimatic data that can provide unique information about environmental and cultural history. Sadly, these historic structures are rapidly vanishing from the Texas landscape.

Barbara J. Heath, Amber Bennett

"The little Spots allow'd them": The Archaeological Study of African-American Yards

Abstract: Yards, like buildings and more portable artifacts, are significant expressions of culture. Yet within African-American archaeology, yards have not been the focus of serious discussions addressing questions of work and leisure activities, community interactions, aesthetics, and culture change. The authors review archaeological, ethnographic, and historical evidence of yards associated with New World slave quarters and present a framework for analysis. Results of recent excavations at a slave quarter at Poplar Forest in central Virginia, occupied from ca. 1790 to 1812, are presented within the context of this framework. The archaeological study of yard spaces provides significant information about cultural meanings and uses of space.

Michael Torbenson, Robert H. Kelly, Jonathon Erlen, Lorna Cropcho, Michael Moraca, Bonnie Beiler, K.N. Rao, Mohamed Virji

Lash's: A Bitter Medicine: Biochemical Analysis of an Historical Proprietary Medicine

Abstract: Patent medicines were widely used during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Bitters were one important subtype of patent medicines that were typically made from extracts of bitter tasting herbs. Lash's Bitters was a popular patent medicine that was advertised as an extract of the bark of the buckthorn tree, Rhamnus purshiana, and was sold as a laxative. Analysis of the contents of an undisturbed bottle of Lash's Bitters, ca. 1918, revealed an ethanol content of 19.2% by volume as well as trace amounts of methanol. Potentially toxic concentrations of lead, 295 mg/dl, were also found. Interestingly, the medicine contained none of the active ingredient found in Rhamnus purshiana.

Kenneth H. Fliess

There's Gold in Them Thar - Documents? The Demographic Evolution of Nevada's Comstock, 1860 through 1910, and the Intersection of Census Demography and Historical Archaeology

Abstract: The premise of this work is that the interpretation of historic communities is most effective when it is derived from both the physical evidence and the written record. As an introduction to the use of manuscript censuses by archaeologists, the purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it will explain the uses of manuscript censuses in historical archaeology as well as their limitations. Second, it will provide an example of the uses of these data sources. Third, it will offer a simple model for historical archaeology based on these data. To this end, the demographic evolution of Nevada's Comstock from 1860 though 1910 is examined in order to both explain potential uses of census materials and to provide a baseline for understanding population processes on the Comstock in particular, and mining communities in the Inter-Mountain West during this time period. The paper concludes that census data are integral to understand demographic processes at a particular point in time, examining trends through time, and portraying an historical community.

Stephen W. Silliman, Paul Farnsworth, Kent G. Lightfoot

Magnetometer Prospecting in Historical Archaeology: Evaluating Survey Options at a 19th-Century Rancho Site in California

Abstract: To complement the growing literature on magnetic prospection in historical archaeology, the practical aspects of magnetometer selection and survey design need to be explored. Based on a test case from the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park in northern California, two readily-available magnetometers are compared with respect to instrument type (alkali-vapor versus proton precession), sensor configuration and number (total field versus vertical gradient), sensor height, intensity of data collection, and basestation correction procedures. These variables are then considered in light of survey speed, labor input, and monetary cost. Results indicate that the alkali-vapor gradiometer is better suited for historical archaeological research based on survey speed and efficiency, volume of data collected, temporal and spatial intensity of station readings, and sensor sensitivity. In addition, the data reconfirm the importance of sensor height, gradiometer configuration, and basestation correction in obtaining high-quality magnetic data.


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VOL. 34, NO. 3 - Contents

  • ARTICLES
    • Preface
      Shannon Lee Dawdy
    • Introduction
      Leland Ferguson
    • Culture Bought: Evidence of Creolization in the Consumer Goods of an Enslaved Bahamian Family
      Laurie A. Wilkie
    • Creolization and Late Nineteen Century Métis Vernacular Log Architecture on the South Saskatchewan River
      David Burley
    • From Colonist to Creole: Archaeological Patterns of Spanish Colonization in the New World
      Charles R. Ewen
    • Creolization and the Borderlands
      James G. Cusick
    • The Material and Cognitive Dimensions of Creolization in Nineteenth-Century Jamaica
      James A. Delle
    • Representing Colonizers: An Archaeology of Creolization, Ethnogenesis, and Indigenous Material Culture among the Haida
      Paul R. Mullins and Robert Paynter
    • The Intersection of Colonial Policy and Colonial Practice: Creolization on the Eighteen-Century Louisiana/Texas Frontier
      Diana DiPaolo Loren
    • Creolization and the Archaeology of Multiethnic Households in the American South
      Mark D. Groover
    • Understanding Cultural Change Through the Vernacular: Creolization in Louisiana
      Shannon Lee Dawdy
    • Discussion: Creolization, Complexity, and Time
      Grey Gundaker

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VOL. 34, NO. 3 - Article Abstracts


James G. Gibb

Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable: Storytelling, Science, and Historical Archaeology

Abstract: "Imaginary, But by No Means Unimaginable," a phrase coined by L. Daniel Mouer and Ywone Edwards-Ingram at the 1998 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, epitomizes a new approach to archaeological analysis and public interpretation. The suddenness with which examples of storytelling appeared in conferences and publications has left little opportunity for comment, particularly to address the theoretical and methodological issues that underlie this hybrid of science, humanities research, and artistic expression. This commentary suggests that storytelling is more than a means of engaging public audiences: it is a form of archaeological analysis.

Laurie A. Wilkie

Culture Bought: Evidence of Creolization in the Consumer Goods of an Enslaved Bahamian Family

Abstract: Archaeologists working in the Caribbean have identified evidence of African continuities in the craft and architectural traditions of enslaved peoples. Less attention has been paid to the role of the abundant, European-produced goods that are also found in the homes of enslaved families. The material culture from one enslaved Bahamian family is explored here, looking at how European-produced goods were selected by enslaved Africans and imbued with meanings in the creation of a Creole culture. The family discussed lived on Clifton plantation, on the island of New Providence, and consisted of an African-born couple and their two island-born children. The enslaved population, due to the paternalistic attitudes of the plantation owner, enjoyed an unusual degree of access to island markets. Using analyses of ceramics and pipes recovered from the household, it is argued that African-based aesthetics directed the selection and composition of the artifacts recovered from the dwelling.

David Burley

Creolization and Late Nineteenth Century Métis Vernacular Log Architecture on the South Saskatchewan River

Abstract: The ethnogenesis of Métis peoples of the western Canadian plains and parklands involved a creolizing process in which cultural traits from many different groups were adopted. An analysis of Métis vernacular log architecture on the South Saskatchewan River illustrates this clearly with individual building components derived from a number of different sources. These structural features are likened to the words of Michif, the Métis language, and their analysis informs upon Métis history and cultural interactions. The final building form, however, can be understood only through the grammar by which it was constructed. This grammar is configured by a Métis worldview that is organic and unbounded. The applicability of a linguistic analogy for the study of creolization is emphasized throughout.

Charles R. Ewen

From Colonist to Creole: Archaeological Patterns of Spanish Colonization in the New World

Abstract: Creolization theory has recently been adopted and adapted by archaeologists as a useful tool for the study of culture contact and culture change. Another term, acculturation, has a much longer history and appears to examine the same phenomena. An examination of how this approach was applied in the study of the development of a Hispanic creole culture demonstrates its utility regardless of the terminology used.

James G. Cusick

Creolization and the Borderlands

Abstract: A model of borderland culture is provided and the concept of creolization is placed within a borderland framework. Manipulation of social identities and affiliations is a daily occurrence in border areas and "creolization" can be seen as one possible outcome of such manipulation. Presentation includes: a definition for borderland and how it differs from a frontier, a discussion of why creolization should be treated as a part of culture contact studies, and examples of negotiated culture on the border with emphasis on the Minorcans of Spanish Florida. The final argument is that creole cultures are one variant of the many kinds of fluid, syncretic cultures that typically appear in border areas.

James A. Delle

The Material and Cognitive Dimensions of Creolization in Nineteenth-Century Jamaica

Abstract: Creolization is defined as a special form of ethnogenesis that in plantation contexts was a process through which social and material worlds were defined. Using colonial Jamaica as an example, ethnohistorical sources and archaeological data are used to suggest how creole identities were emically defined by and negotiated between populations of both European and African descent, and suggests how the process of creolization was manifested in the use of space, foodways, and general health of creole populations of both European and African descent.

Paul R. Mullins, Robert Paynter

Representing Colonizers: An Archaeology of Creolization, Ethnogenesis, and Indigenous Material Culture among the Haida

Abstract: Rather than reduce colonial encounters to a universal creolization process, creolization is examined as conflict between various colonial powers and indigenous groups with distinct social and resource organizations. The concept of ethnogenesis focuses analysis of creolization by probing colonial power relations and approaching material culture as the active negotiation of colonization and colonial inequality. The subject of analysis is indigenous objects that depict European colonizers; such material culture should provide a sensitive insight into indigenous perceptions of colonization and illuminate the relations between various colonizers and indigenous peoples throughout the world. This examination of material culture from the Haida of the Pacific Northwest demonstrates how one indigenous group developed distinctive strategies to negotiate colonial power relations.

Diana Dipaolo Loren

The Intersections of Colonial Policy and Colonial Practice: Creolization on the Eighteenth- Century Louisiana/Texas Frontier

Abstract: By the mid-18th century, the population that lived on the Louisiana/Texas frontier was comprised of French, Spanish, Native American, African, and creoles (or mixed-bloods). French and Spanish colonial policies dictated the kinds of social and economic relations that were to exist between people of different racial and ethnic groups on the frontier. Colonial practices often ran counter to official policies, however, as individuals crossed social and racial borders created by the Crown to construct not only multiethnic communities but also multiethnic households. This process of creolization resulted in the negotiation of new colonial identities for those that did not fit into neat colonial categories. Using ethnohistoric and archaeological data, the process of creolization that occurred within multiethnic communities and households along the colonial Louisiana/Texas border is considered.

Mark D. Groover

Creolization and the Archaeology of Multiethnic Households in the American South

Abstract: Creolization was originally introduced to historical archaeology through the study of settler communities in Spanish Florida and African-American material culture recovered from plantations in the South Carolina lowcountry. Creolization is a productive concept for interpreting a diverse range of contexts in the South--particularly the multiethnic household. Creolization is briefly contextualized within ethnic or race relations theory within anthropology and sociology. Attention then turns to the archaeology and ethnography associated with multiethnic households. Multiethnic contexts considered consist of lowcountry plantations, settler households in Spanish Florida and the Caribbean, frontier residences in the South Carolina backcountry, Cherokee households in North Carolina, and multiracial communities in East Tennessee.

Shannon Lee Dawdy

Understanding Cultural Change Through the Vernacular: Creolization in Louisiana

Abstract: A diachronic examination of the emic meanings of "creole" in Louisiana reveals a dynamic and complex social identity that is not easily dissected into the etic (or Anglo-American emic) categories of race, class, or ethnicity. In fact, outsider misconceptions about Louisiana creoles have been incorporated into recent anthropological definitions of creolization. This study explores the vernacular understandings of creole through three generational shifts in Louisiana spanning the early-18th through mid-19th centuries. A comparison of these vernacular definitions with the results of archaeological excavations at two creole sites in New Orleans helps define three types of creolization: transplantation, ethnic acculturation, and hybridization. These are transitions that occurred in the self-fashioning of Louisianans as expressed through their houses, gardens, clothes, food, and household goods. Adopting a native perspective exposes the roles that worldview and individual agency play in shaping processes of cultural change.


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VOL. 34, NO. 4 - Contents


  • J.C. HARRINGTON MEDAL IN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY - RODERICK SPRAGUE 2000
  • JOHN L. COTTER AWARD IN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY - PAUL R. MULLINS 2000
  • ARTICLES
    • Underwater Archaeology at the Dawn of the 21st Century
      James P. Delgado
    • Meaning (and) Materiality: Rethinking Contextual Analysis Through Cellar-set Houses.
      Edward R. Carr
    • Pastores Presence on the Southern High Plains of Texas
      Kent Hicks and Eileen Johnson
    • Finding the Forge: Geographic Visualization in Archaeology
      Roy S. Stine
    • Drought as a Factor in The Jamestown Colony,1607-1612
      Dennis B. Blanton
    • "A Brilliant And Pleasant Light": Investigating The Springfield Gas Machine System at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, Lexington, Kentucky
      Donald W. Linebaugh, Nancy O'Malley and Jeanie Duwan
    • The Rare Bone China Gorgets of Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Williston, North Dakota
      W.E. Sudderth and Linda J. Darnell Hulvershorn
  • REVIEWS

    Edited By Vergil E. Noble
    • Pedro Paulo A. Funari, Martin Hall, and Siân Jones, editors: Historical Archaeology: Back from the Edge
      John Carman
    • Theresa A. Singleton, editor: "I, Too, Am America: "Archaeological Studies of African-American Life.
      James A. Delle
    • Barbara J. Heath: Hidden Lives: The Archaeology of Slave Life at Thomas Jefferson 's Poplar Forest.
      Esther C. White
    • Warren R. Perry: Landscape Transformations and the Archaeology of Impact: Social Disruption and State Formation in Southern Africa.
      Joanna Behrens
    • Grace Karskens: Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighborhood.
      Susan Lawrence
    • Jane Lydon: Many Inventions: The Chinese in the Rocks, 1890-1930 .
      A. Praetzellis
    • Paul Pattison, editor: There by Design: Field Archaeology in Parks and Gardens
      and
      Tom Williamson: The Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840.
      Sara E.P. Gillies
    • Pedro Paulo A. Funari, editor: Cultura Material e Arqueologia Histórica.
      Irina Podgorny
    • Pamela Jane Smith and Donald Mitchell, editors: Bringing Back the Past: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Archaeology
      Karolyn E. Smardz
    • Linda F. Stine, Martha Zierden, Lesley M. Drucker, and Christopher Judge, editors: Carolina 's Historical Landscapes: Archaeological Perspectives.
      Karen Bescherer Metheny
    • Lorinda B. R. Goodwin: An Archaeology of Manners: The Polite World of the Merchant Elite of Colonial Massachusetts.
      Bruce R. Penner
    • Kathleen Deagan, editor: Puerto Real: The Archaeology of a Sixteenth- Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola.
      Elizabeth Righter
    • Richard G. Schaefer: A Typology of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Ceramics and it Implications for American Historical Archaeology.
      David Gaimster
    • Lu Ann De Cunzo and Bernard L. Herman, editors: Historical Archaeology and the Study of American Culture.
      Julia A. King
    • Bruno E. J. S. Werz: Diving up the Human Past: Perspectives on Maritime Archaeology, with Specific Reference to Developments in South Africa until 1996.
      Jeremy Green
    • Dennis C. Curry: Feast of the Dead: Aboriginal Ossuaries in Maryland.
      Martha A. Latta
    • Robert S. Grumet, editor: Historic Contact National Historic Landmarks in New York State.
      David R. Starbuck
    • Ronald C. Carlisle: The Story of "Woodville ":The History, Architecture ,and Archaeology of a Western Pennsylvania Farm.
      Gabrielle M. Lanier
    • Jane Grenville, editor: Managing the Historic Rural Landscape.
      Gianfranco Archimede
    • Judith A. Bense, editor: Archaeology of Colonial Pensacola.
      Kathleen Deagan
    • Rebecca Allen: Native Americans at Mission Santa Cruz, 1791-1834, Interpreting the Archaeological Record.
      Russell K. Skowronek
    • Rein Vanderpot and Teresita Majewski: The Forgotten Soldiers: Historical and Archaeological Investigations of the Apache Scouts at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
      J. Homer Thiel
    • Jeremy Green, Somarasiri Devendra, and Robert Parthesius, editors: Sri Lanka Department of Archaeology Report on the Joint Sri Lana-Australia-Netherlands Galle Harbour Project 1996-1997.
      Daniel Lenihan
    • Fay Banks: Wine Drinking in Oxford, 1640-1850: A Story Revealed by Tavern, Inn, College and Other Bottles.
      Margaret Kimball Brown
    • Richard V. Francaviglia: From Sail to Steam: Four Centuries of Texas Maritime History,1500-1900.
      James D. Spirek
    • J. Barto Arnold Iii, Jennifer L. Goloboy, Andrew W. Hall, Rebecca A. Hall, and J. Dale Shively: Texas ' Liberty Ships: From World War II Working-Class Heroes to Artificial Reefs.
      Mark Staniforth
    • Doreen C. Cooper: Archeological Investigations in Skagway, Volume 6:Residential Life on Block 39.
      Larry Buhr
    • Louis M. Waddell and Bruce Bomberger: The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania, 1753-1763: Fortification and Struggle During the War for Empire.
      Robert S. Grumet
    • Michael A.Tomlan, editor: Preservation of What, for Whom? A Critical Look at Historical Significance.
      Evan Peacock

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VOL. 34, NO. 4 - Article Abstracts


Edward R. Carr

Meaning (and) Materiality: Rethinking Contextual Analysis Through Cellar-set Houses

Abstract: In early 17th-century Virginia, three people constructed houses unlike anything built in the Chesapeake before or since. These earthfast structures, owned by men of the "better sort "and framed at the bottom of cellar holes, have thus far defied explanation because of interpretive constraints inherent in the positivist underpinnings of archaeological analysis. This article challenges these constraints by engaging the rich contexts highlighted in recent work by "storytelling " archaeologists through poststructural semiotics. Rather than search for a single driving factor that explains these houses, it is argued that it is only when one grapples with the complexity of the context that one can understand how these houses were constituted by/constitutive of their context.

Kent Hicks, Elieen Johnson

Pastores Presence on the Southern High Plains of Texas

Abstract: The pastores were a little-known Hispanic sheep herding group who moved their sheep (and later their families)from north-central New Mexico into the Canadian River Valley of the Texas Panhandle from the early 1870s to the middle 1880s.Use and occupation of the adjacent Southern High Plains was thought not to have occurred. Local historians, however, placed pastores occupations both along the eastern escarpment and on the plateau of the Southern High Plains. Three archaeological sites far to the southeast of the pastores primary area of occupation were examined based on survey data for authenticity and implications for a better understanding of pastores land-use patterns and role in the settlement of this area.

Roy S. Stine

Finding the Forge: Geographic Visualization in Archaeology

Abstract: Geographic Visualization (GVis)techniques are discussed as applied to a study of intra-site patterning at the Reed Gold Mine Blacksmith Shop near Georgeville, North Carolina. One of the questions under investigation by the sponsoring agencies (North Carolina Historic Sites in conjunction with the Gold History Corporation)pertained to the location of the forge. After excavations, no direct evidence of a forge, such as a masonry foundation or an oak anvil base, was discovered. When viewed spatially however, there are ample marker artifact data pointing to a forge area. These artifacts were mapped and analyzed using Geographic Visualization techniques. By using this technology to ask questions about the artifact patterning, a strong indication as to the location of the forge was discovered.

Dennis B. Blanton

Drought as a Factor in The Jamestown Colony,1607-1612

Abstract: Landscape reconstructions are now common in historical archaeology but climatic reconstructions are still infrequent. Period accounts of the Jamestown colony 's .first decade indicate considerable stress that has begged satisfactory explanation. A baldcypress tree-ring study was initiated as an independent means of climatic reconstruction in the lower Chesapeake region. The findings clearly document severe drought during the first years of the Jamestown colony. The implications of this finding enrich and clarify the first-person accounts of stress due to famine, poor water quality, intercultural hostility, and extreme mortality. The results also demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary studies in historical archaeology and should encourage more routine consideration of climate as a significant factor in the historical events of the United States.

Donald W. Linebaugh, Nancy O'Malley, Jeanie Duwan

"A Brilliant And Pleasant Light": Investigating The Springfield Gas Machine System at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, Lexington, Kentucky

Abstract: Recent historical and archaeological investigations related to the gas works at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, have revealed a unique and important lighting system. A self-contained gas generating unit ,known as t he Springfield Gas Machine, was installed at Ashland sometime during the last quarter of the 19th century. This unit generated gas from liquid gasoline to power lighting fixtures throughout the house. Self-contained gas generating units, powered by both gasoline and acetylene, were introduced in the mid-19th century, and offered alternative gas sources for individuals and businesses outside the reach of municipal gas works systems. These machines represent an important technical innovation and one with considerable social consequences. Although the Springfield machines were found in greater numbers in the northeastern states, they also were used throughout the Midwest and South.

W.E. Sudderth, Linda J. Darnell Hulvershorn

The Rare Bone China Gorgets of Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Williston, North Dakota

Abstract: Originally, the gorget was an element of medieval body armor designed to protect the neck. With the advent of gunpowder, armor became an encumbrance yet the gorget continued in diminutive form as a badge of officer 's rank. As Anglo-French colonial rivalries brought military alliances with Native Americans, the gorget and military rank as a "gorget Captain" was extended to prominent men of a tribe. Soon thereafter, fur traders adopted the metal gorget as a trade item. Archaeological investigations at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site in North Dakota recovered gorget fragments which compositional analysis suggests are of bone china, made in 19th century Staffordshire potteries. These unprecedented gorgets may represent the fur company's attempt to introduce a more colorful and cheaper substitute for silver or other metals of intrinsic value. These bone china gorgets are a dead twig on their family tree for they bore no issue. Yet they appear to represent the climax of an artifact whose function and meaning have evolved through time from a practical male accouterment to this fragile male ornament that was poorly conceived to complement the active lifestyle of the recipients.


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