Historical Archaeology: Contents & Abstracts, Vol. 36, 2002

Vol. 36, No. 1 - Spring: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 36, No. 2 - Summer: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 36, No. 3 - Fall: Contents; Abstracts

Vol. 36, No. 4 - Winter: Contents; Abstracts


VOL. 36, No. 1 - Contents


  • ARTICLES
    • Preface
      Bonnie G. McEwan
    • French Colonial Archaeology at Old Mobile: An Introduction
      Gregory A. Waselkov
    • Earthfast (Pieux en Terre) Structures at Old Mobile
      Bonnie L. Gums
    • Native American and French Cultural Dynamics on the Gulf Coast
      Diane E. Silvia
    • Continuity and Change in Apalachee Pottery Manufacture
      Ann S. Cordell
    • Eighteenth-Century Glass Beads in the French Colonial Trade
      Marvin T. Smith
    • Faience Styles in French North America: A Revised Classification
      Gregory A. Waselkov and John A. Walthall
    • Compositional Analysis of Glazed Earthenwares from Eighteenth-Century Sites on the Northern Gulf Coast
      Jacqueline S. Olin, M. James Blackman, Jared E. Mitchem and Gregory A. Waselkov
    • Chinese Porcelain at Old Mobile
      Linda R. Shulsky
    • Pipestone Argillite Artifacts from Old Mobile and Environs
      James N. Gundersen, Gregory A. Waselkov and Lillian J.K. Pollock
    • Archaeobotany at Old Mobile
      Kristen J. Gremillion
    • Faunal Remains from Old Mobile
      Janet R. Clute and Gregory A. Waselkov
    • Status and Trade at Port Dauphin
      George W. Shorter, Jr.
    • Discussion: Towards an Archaeology of the French in America/Commentaire: pour une archéologie des Français d'Amérique
      Marcel Moussette

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VOL. 36, No. 1 - Article Abstracts


Gregory A. Waselkov

French Colonial Archaeology at Old Mobile: An Introduction

Abstract: Twelve years of excavation and analysis of the Old Mobile archaeological site (1MB94) are revealing the physical and social dimensions of the capital of French colonial Louisiana between 1702 and 1711. The specialized studies included in this thematic issue document the interplay of French colonists, enslaved and free Native Americans, and Hispanic trade contacts as a new colonial society developed on the northern Gulf Coast at the turn of the 18th century.

Bonnie L. Gums

Earthfast (Pieux en Terre) Structures at Old Mobile

Abstract: Recent investigations at Old Mobile have included excavation of the first earthfast pieux en terre buildings discovered at this early French colonial site. These small one-room structures may have been barracks for soldiers garrisoned at Fort Louis. Previously excavated structures, interpreted as domestic dwellings, are multi-room buildings of poteaux sur sole (post-on-sill), a more substantial construction method. Differences in floor plan, size, construction method, and associated artifact assemblages reflect differences in structure function and occupation.

Diane E. Silvia

Native American and French Cultural Dynamics on the Gulf Coast

Abstract: Archaeological investigations at Old Mobile and Port Dauphin, and at the later sites of Bienville Square, Fort Condé Village, Bottle Creek, and Dog River, document the evolution of a relatively reciprocal and stable relationship between colonists and native peoples spanning the entire French colonial period, from 1699 to 1763. The nature of French-Indian interaction on the Gulf Coast contrasts with other areas of eastern North America at that time, such as the Mississippi Valley and the Northeast, where relations often were more fragile and alliances went with the best offer.

Ann S. Cordell

Continuity and Change in Apalachee Pottery Manufacture

Abstract: The artifact assemblage from French colonial Old Mobile includes pottery thought to have been made by Apalachee Indians who emigrated from the Apalachee Province of Spanish Florida following the destruction of their missions in 1704. The suspected Apalachee ceramics are characterized by complicated stamped designs and folded and pinched rims. Colono ware pitchers and brimmed vessels with foot ring bases also are thought to have been made by Apalachee émigrés. Paste characterization and analyses of design, manufacturing technology, and vessel morphology of this pottery were compared with known local Mobile types and known Apalachee types from Mission San Luis de Talimali in Florida. The results document continuity and change in Apalachee pottery production and may help track the dispersal of the Apalachees and resolve the timing of the disappearance of Apalachee pottery traditions from the archaeological record.

Marvin T. Smith

Eighteenth-Century Glass Beads in the French Colonial Trade

Abstract: French colonial sites and French contact Native American sites in the Louisiana colony are considered in an attempt to further refine bead chronology. Research is almost to the point where bead introductions can be assigned to particular decades. Such tight dating is one of the ultimate goals of bead chronology. If this goal is reached, we can date undocumented contact period sites, or perhaps even individual features on sites of long occupation.

Gregory A. Waselkov, John A. Walthall

Faience Styles in French Colonial North America: A Revised Classification

Abstract: Previous archaeological systems for classifying French faience have not proven (nor were they designed to be) applicable to the entire range of faience found at North American sites. By combining elements of two widely-used systems designed for faience from Québec and Illinois sites, and drawing on published information from French archaeologists and art historians, a revised classification is proposed that accounts for most of the faience likely to be recovered from 17th- and 18th-century sites in North America.

Jacqueline S. Olin, M. James Blackman, Jared E. Mitchem, Gregory A. Waselkov

Compositional Analysis of Glazed Earthenwares from Eighteenth-Century Sites on the Northern Gulf Coast

Abstract: Compositional classification of colonial-era ceramics using neutron activation analysis has heretofore focused primarily on majolicas from Spain and Mexico. In order to expand the chemical database to include 18th-century French ceramics, 186 sherds from Old Mobile and nearby sites on the north-central Gulf Coast have been analyzed, including faïence blanche, faïence brune, Mexican majolicas, and several types of coarse earthenwares. Quantitative analysis of 23 elements provides a basis for distinguishing French and Spanish-colonial earthenwares, as well as suggesting some preliminary chemical groupings of French faience.

Linda R. Shulsky

Chinese Porcelain at Old Mobile

Abstract: Chinese porcelain has been found in some quantity at the French colonial town site of Old Mobile. These sherds are of fine quality, and are comparable to pieces found in princely collections in Europe and in the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul. Most are finely painted in underglaze blue, but a few retain traces of overglaze polychrome decoration. French colonies of this period typically did not import large amounts of porcelain. Old Mobile's proximity to Spanish colonial settlements, however, provided access to Asian porcelain obtained via the Manila galleon trade.

James N. Gundersen, Gregory A. Waselkov, Lillian J. K. Pollock

Pipestone Argillite Artifacts from Old Mobile and Environs

Abstract: Four different mineralogical varieties of pipestone have been recognized among 51 analyzed artifacts recovered from the Old Mobile site (1MB94) and from a contemporary, adjacent Native American site (1MB147). X-ray powder diffractometry permits 11 specimens to be recognized as mineralogically simple Kansas pipestone and 35 specimens as mineralogically complex catlinite pipestone. It is possible to designate the specific original provenances (i.e., geologic sources) of the two types of pipestone, neither of which can be distinguished on the basis of diagnostic visual attributes in hand specimen. The Old Mobile site also yielded four examples of a very soft, grayish-red, easily carvable material interpreted as an unusual variety of catlinite, largely composed of poorly-crystallized talc, a raw material that has not been recognized previously in catlinite pipestone. A single pipe fragment from Old Mobile is composed of pale grayish-green "pipestone," a well-crystallized, iron-rich chlorite of undetermined origin. Ten specimens from the contemporaneous Upper Creek Indian site of Fusihatchee (1EE191) consist of essentially identical chlorite, except that one also contains a minor amount of moderately well-crystallized talc.

Kristen J. Gremillion

Archaeobotany at Old Mobile

Abstract: Although still in its initial phases, archaeobotanical research at Old Mobile has much to contribute toward our understanding of cultural dynamics on the Gulf Coast frontier. Results so far obtained suggest that staple crops were both imported and locally produced and included species native to the Old World (such as fava beans) as well as the New World (e.g., maize and common beans). Archaeobotanical assemblages from different structures at Old Mobile reveal variability in conditions affecting preservation, but may also reflect socioeconomic status and ethnicity of the occupants. The hypothesis that Indian women sharing households with European men acted as agents of "dietary acculturation" deserves further consideration.

Janet R. Clute, Gregory A. Waselkov

Faunal Remains from Old Mobile

Abstract: The high acidity of soils at the Old Mobile site has limited recovery of faunal remains to small calcined specimens. Despite poor preservation, however, samples of bone and shell fragments from each of the excavated structures indicate a reliance on wild fauna, with lesser dependence on domesticated species. Chicken and pig remains have been found, although other domesticates are mentioned in historical documents. Comparison with the faunal assemblage from the contemporary Indian house site (1MB147) suggests ethnic differences in food preferences during this initial period of French colonization.

George W. Shorter, Jr.

Status and Trade at Port Dauphin

Abstract: Founded in 1702, Port Dauphin was the Gulf coastal port for the main French colonial settlement of Mobile, 80 km (50 mi.) to the north. Excavations on Dauphin Island at the stockade site (1711-1722) and, most recently, at a portion of Port Dauphin Village (primary occupation, ca. 1715-1725) have yielded archaeological data from the second and third decades of French occupation. Coins and European ceramics from these sites shed light on the relationship between status and trade among the inhabitants of the early French settlement on Dauphin Island.

Marcel Moussette

Discussion: Towards an Archaeology of the French in America

Abstract: This collection of studies on the French colonial site of Old Mobile reflects the intensity with which early 18-century French colonists on the Gulf Coast engaged other Europeans (in Europe and in other North American colonies) and Native Americans (both free and enslaved) in social and economic interactions that eventually led to the creation of a new, regionally differentiated colonial culture. A synthesis of the archaeology of the French presence in North America will have to take into account the diversity of the French colonial experience, one facet of which is explored in this set of essays.


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VOL. 36, No. 2 - Contents


  • ARTICLES
    • Becoming American: The Archaeology of an Italian Immigrant
      Robert K. Fitts
    • Detecting Economic Variability in the Red River Settlement
      Bonnie Lee A. Brenner and Gregory G. Monks
    • Recycling Bottles as Building Materials in the Pacific Islands
      William Hampton Adams
    • Artifact of Empire: The Tale of a Gun
      Graham Connah and Davod Pearson
    • Social Differentiation and Exchange among the Kumeyaay Indians during the Historic Period in California
      Lynn H. Gamble and Irma Carmen Zapeda
    • Curiosities and Conundrums: Deciphering Social Relations and the Material World at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory and Residence in Madison, Indiana
      Deborah L. Rotman and john M, Staicer
    • China or Prosser Button Identifi cation and Dating
      Roderick Sprague
  • REVIEWS
    Edited by Annalies Corbin
    • Praetzellis: Death by Theory: A Tale of Mystery and Archaeological Theory.
      Lawrence E. Babits
    • Delle, Mrozowski, and Paynter: Lines That Divide: Historical Archaeologies of Race, Class, and Gender.
      Mark S. Warner
    • White, Sullivan, and Marrinan: Grit-Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in the Southeastern United States.
      Curts M. Hinsley
    • Smith: The Maritime Heritage of the Cayman Islands.
      Mark Staniforth
    • Riley: The Kachina and the Cross: Indians and Spaniards in the Early Southwest.
      J. Homer Thiel
    • Shackel: Archaeology and Created Memory: Public History in a National Park.
      Lou Ann Speulda
    • Ross: Trade Beads from Archeological Excavations at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.
      William T. Billeck
    • Godden Mackay Heritage Consultants: The Cumberland/Gloucester Streets Site, The Rocks: Archaeological Investigation Report.
      Susan Piddock

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VOL. 36, No. 2 - Article Abstracts


Robert K. Fitts

Becoming American: The Archaeology of an Italian Immigrant

Abstract: Excavations at the Queens Family Court and Families Court Agencies Facility site in Jamaica, Queens County, New York, uncovered three turn-of-the-20th-century features associated with Michael Pette, an Italian immigrant, and his family. Pette arrived in New York nearly penniless in 1885. After holding a number of unskilled jobs, he became a successful real estate developer, newspaper publisher, and community leader. Combined data from archaeological excavation, an autobiography, newspaper accounts, and interviews with descendants reveal how this Italian immigrant assimilated into the American middle class and the role of material culture in the process.

Bonnie Lee A. Brenner, Gregory G. Monks

Detecting Economic Variability in the Red River Settlement

Abstract: A method is presented for establishing the relative economic positions of archaeological assemblages. Scales of economic means are independently derived from the archival and archaeological records of the Red River Settlement between 1830 and 1870 and are then tested for consistency of ranking. The results indicate that relative economic position can be observed on the basis of ceramic artifact assemblages alone, the beef cut results are not sufficiently robust, but a broader approach to faunal assemblages provides meaningful results. Persons or groups that are normally overlooked in historical documents, and sites or assemblages for which no written records exist, can then be included in discussions of economic variability on the basis of their ceramic assemblages. Such discussion leads to the possibility of establishing links between economic and social variability.

William Hampton Adams

Recycling Bottles as Building Materials in the Pacific Islands

Abstract: In a recent article, David Burley investigated the use of beer bottles as grave decorations in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga. Burley concluded that these should not be viewed in a symbolic framework, but instead that the bottles were merely convenient building materials. The custom of marking a grave with bottles is much more widespread, for it is found on the islands of Yap and Palau in the western part of Micronesia, and in the Solomon Islands of Melanesia. In Micronesia, bottles are used to mark paths and planting beds as well as graves. This article explores, briefly, some of the issues involved in recycling bottles.

Graham Connah, David Pearson

Artifact of Empire: The Tale of a Gun

Abstract: The historical archaeology of later colonialism in tropical Africa has had little attention. An example of its potential is provided by a 9-Pounder Naval gun preserved in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, nearly 600 mi. (900 km) from the nearest coast. Manufactured in 1870 in London, it is a rifled muzzle-loader made at a time when British gun-production briefly (and finally) reverted to muzzle-loading because of a lack of confidence in early breech mechanisms. When already obsolete, it seems to have been supplied by the Royal Navy for use on a colonial government vessel on Lake Victoria at the beginning of the 20th century and to have served with distinction during the First World War, 44 years after its manufacture. Apparently preserved as a memento in a Kampala public park, its colonial associations subsequently led to a less public role but it has nevertheless survived, having a relevance for both European and African history.

Lynn H. Gamble, Irma Carmen Zepeda

Social Differentiation and Exchange among the Kumeyaay Indians during the Historic Period in California

Abstract: Long distance exchange between the Kumeyaay Indians and other southern California Indian groups after Spanish colonization is poorly documented and understood. The intensive study of thousands of shell beads from an historic cemetery in the San Diego region indicates that traditional socioeconomic interactions persevered among some California Indians despite missionization, epidemic diseases, and the seizure of California Indian lands. A mortuary analysis of the distribution of beads and other grave associations in the same cemetery further suggests that Kumeyaay sociopolitical organization was more complex than previously noted. It does not appear that this complexity developed as a result of Spanish colonization, but instead continued after at least 80 years of intensive contact. The Kumeyaay example illustrates that often important economic and sociopolitical traditions are maintained despite clear attempts to acculturate colonized societies.

Deborah L. Rotman, John M. Staicer

Curiosities and Conundrums: Deciphering Social Relations and the Material World at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory and Residence in Madison, Indiana

Abstract: As a locus of hand-craft production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory and Residence began as a single structure and evolved into an eclectic arrangement of industrial and domestic buildings. At first glance, the site and its residents appear to be aberrations, "exceptions to the rule," perhaps even cautionary tales in historical archaeology. Upon closer inspection, however, it does not appear that this site is remarkably different from other loci of specialty production from this era. The Schroeder family, along with the documentary and material records that are their legacy, are a lens through which to view social relations at specialty production firms and the use of the material world by factory owners, particularly during times of major economic crisis.

Roderick Sprague

China or Prosser Button Identification and Dating

Abstract: China buttons or "small chinas," glass-like ceramic buttons, are one of the most often misidentified artifacts in 19th and 20th century sites. These buttons, manufactured by the Prosser process, date after 1840. The common varieties are characterized by the top side being quite smooth, the under side with an "orange peel" surface, and a noticeable seam around the edge. Fancy examples include such varieties as calicoes, ginghams, igloos, bird cages, and pie crusts. Button collectors have not only known for many years that these are ceramic not glass, but have created an excellent classification system that should be utilized, in a modified form, by historical archaeologists. This is a prime example of how costly it can be when archaeologists ignore the collectors and their published body of knowledge. For the sake of clarity it is suggested that china buttons be referred to as Prosser buttons in the archaeological literature.


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VOL. 36, No. 3 - Contents


  • ARTICLES
    • The Changing Face of Work in the West: Some Introductory Comments
      Thad M. Van Bueren
    • Russian Exploitation of Aleuts and Fur Seals: The Archaeology of Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century Settlements in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska
      Douglas W. Veltre and Allen P. McCartney
    • Industrial and Domestic Landscapes of a California Oil Field
      R. Scott Baxter
    • Struggling with Class Relations at a Los Angeles Aqueduct Construction Camp
      Thad M. Van Bueren
    • The Unromantic West: Labor, Capital, and Struggle
      Randall H. McGuire and Paul Reckner
    • Work Camp Settlement Patterns: Landscape-Scale Comparisons of Two Mining Camps in Southeastern Arizona
      William B. Gillespie and Mary M. Farrell
    • Health, Sanitation, and Diet in a Twentieth-Century Dam Construction Camp: A View from Butt Valley, California
      Mary L. Maniery
    • "Nothing But Tar Paper Shacks"
      Richard A. Goddard
    • Commentary: Interpreting Variability and Change in Western Work Camps
      Donald L. Hardesty

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VOL. 36, No. 3 - Article Abstracts


Thad M. Van Bueren

The Changing Face of Work in the West: Some Introductory Comments

Abstract: Between the 18th and 20th centuries, a variety of work communities sprang up as an outgrowth of the expanding global economy in what is now the western United States. These communities typically served as outposts of distant moneyed interests, providing living quarters for the workers who extracted raw materials or constructed the infrastructure needed to transport such materials to urban centers. Unlike communities with more permanent and diversified economic foundations, life in such temporary settlements had as its backdrop relations among workers, employers, and the resources they sought to exploit. Dialogs between workers and capitalists continued to evolve over time as the West became industrialized, class relations were transformed, and resources were depleted. The articles in this volume explore various facets of those transformations and their broader implications.

Douglas W. Veltre, Allen P. McCartney

Russian Exploitation of Aleuts and Fur Seals: The Archaeology of Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth-Century Settlements in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska

Abstract: Shortly after Russian fur hunters found the uninhabited Pribilof Islands of St. Paul and St. George in the late 1780s, they began forcing Aleut men from the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula to travel there seasonally to provide labor for the profitable commercial harvest of northern fur seals. Recent archaeological surveys of the earliest Aleut and Russian work camps that were established on the islands show them to be unusual in many respects when compared to contemporary sites in the Aleutian Islands region. These include the absence of precontact site components, their relatively narrow period of occupation, their occupancy by an exclusively or nearly exclusively male population, and their potential as multiethnic settlements to reveal differences between the lives of Russian overseers and Aleut laborers.

R. Scott Baxter

Industrial and Domestic Landscapes of a California Oil Field

Abstract: By the turn of the 19th century, the United States was a heavily industrialized nation in the midst of the Victorian period. A series of intertwined values developed concerning the appropriate use of space both in and out of the work place and home. While the majority pursued these standards, individuals working in extractive industries were often on society's periphery. Squaw Flat is an isolated oil field in Ventura County, California, occupied from ca. 1912-1954. In a remote location with limited choices, workers at Squaw Flat were able to use the landscape to express societal values concerning professional, domestic, public, and private space.

Thad M. Van Bueren

Struggling with Class Relations at a Los Angeles Aqueduct Construction Camp

Abstract: Western work camps offer unique opportunities to examine the evolution of class relations in American society during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The short-term occupations that characterized many of those communities can be used to examine quality of life, working conditions, and relations among workers at particular places and moments in time. By comparing conditions in camps from different periods, meaningful insights can then be gained concerning changes in class relations over time. Class relations are examined at a camp occupied in 1912 and 1913 during the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. It is argued that the behavior of the camp's workers and supervisory staff must be understood in the broader context of the history of class struggles and the negotiation of class identities. While national and global trends influenced local class dynamics, regional conditions ultimately determined the timing of particular transformations.

Randall H. McGuire, Paul Reckner

The Unromantic West: Labor, Capital, and Struggle

Abstract: A gang of historians has gunned down the "romantic West." They have dismissed the notion of the West as a frontier of opportunity for all comers. The American West has been redefined as an arena of struggle involving complex relations of class, gender, ethnicity, and race. Western work camps and company towns existed as extensions of a global economy centered on the eastern United States. From the mid-19th century through the first decades of the 20th century, capital and people flowed into the West from Europe, Asia, and Mexico. In this internal periphery of U.S. capitalism, workers experienced the same type of exploitation and engaged in the same struggles as their brethren in other parts of the United States. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the coalfields of Colorado. The work camps and company towns that archaeologists excavate were loci of struggle, and historians cannot claim to understand them without considering these conflicts.

William B. Gillespi, Mary M. Farrell

Work Camp Settlement Patterns: Landscape-Scale Comparisons of Two Mining Camps in Southeastern Arizona

Abstract: As the other articles in this special issue well illustrate, work camps can be examined in depth from a variety of perspectives, each of which can yield interesting insights. But even survey data about the distribution of settlements across the landscape will often indicate similarities and differences in the archaeologically observed patterns. In this example, it is the differences that inspire questions about how factors such as technology, environment, class, and social structure influenced settlement patterns at two early-20th-century mining camps in southeastern Arizona.

Mary L. Maniery

Health, Sanitation, and Diet in a Twentieth-Century Dam Construction Camp: A View from Butt Valley, California

Abstract: As the demand for electricity and steady water supplies exploded in the early-20th century, newly incorporated power and water companies throughout the West scrambled to meet this need. Monumental projects were undertaken to construct dams, powerhouses, and related features to supply the currents and water needed for cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Competition for workers was fierce, environmental conditions were harsh, and the time between beginning and ending a project was tight. The evolution of dam construction camps between 1900 and 1930 reflects a steady improvement in camp sanitation, health services, and diet, partially in response to state legislation. Archaeological work at the Butt Valley Dam Construction Camp provides insights regarding the extent to which camp operators complied with state mandates or even exceeded such standards.

Richard A. Goddard

"Nothing But Tar Paper Shacks"

Abstract: Satellite settlements, which frequently bordered model company towns, were usually explained as havens for prostitutes, gamblers, bootleggers, and social misfits. A study of Steptoe City, Nevada, revealed more complex social and economic realities and suggested that the phenomenon was not unique to company towns. Such settlements could better be understood as special case manifestations of the shantytowns or "wrong side of the tracks" neighborhoods, which plagued most towns throughout America.

marginal neighborhood, whether shantytown or large urban slum, was something more than the abode of social outcasts and ne'er-do-wells. It existed in the gap between the ideal and the real, providing a place for dissidents and nonconformists as well as for many who were struggling to enter the middle class. The marginal neighborhood was a functioning part of the socioeconomic system, and it permitted the remainder of the community to be what it was.


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VOL. 36, No. 4 - Contents


  • J. C. Harrington Award 2002: Charles E. Cleland
  • John L. Cotter Award 2001: Audrey J. Horning
  • ARTICLES
    • The Development of Historical Archaeology in Israel: An Overview and Prospects
      Uzi Baram
    • Preservation of Waterlogged Wooden Buttons and Threads: A Case Study
      C. Wayne Smith
    • The Maintenance of Cultural and Personal Identities of Enslaved Africans and British Soldiers at the Brimstone Hill Fortress, St. Kitts, West Indies
      Gerald F. Schroedl and Todd M. Ahlman
    • Cultural Coherency and Resistance in Historic-Period Northwest-Coast Mortuary Practices at Kimsquit
      Paul Prince
    • Machine Cut Nails and Wire Nails: American Production and Use for Dating 19th-Century and Early-20th-Century Sites
      William Hampton Adams
    • The Role of Resistivity Survey in Historic Site Assessment and Management: An Example from Fort Riley, Kansas
      Michael L. Hargrave, Lewis E. Somers, THomas K. Larson, Richard Shields and John Dendy
    • Boss of the Road: Early-Twentieth-Century Consumer Selections of Work Clothing from Alabama Gates Work Camp, Owens Valley, California
      Sunshine Psota
    • Myth, Migration, and Material Culture: Archaeology and the Ulster Influence on Appalachia
      Audrey J. Horning
  • REVIEWS
    EDITED BY ANNALIES CORBIN
    • Metz, Jones, Pickett, and Muraca: "Upon the Palisad" and Other Stories of Place from Bruton Heights
      Marshall Joseph Becker
    • McEwan: Indians of the Greater Southeast: Historical Archaeology and Ethnohistory
      Donna L. Ruhl
    • Weddle: The Wreck of the Belle, the Ruin of La Salle
      Mark Staniforth
    • Gould: Archaeology and the Social History of Ships
      Donald H. Keith
    • McCarthy: Iron and Steamship Archaeology: Success and Failure on the SS Xantho
      Matthew A. Russell
    • Torrence and Clarke: The Archaeology of Difference: Negotiating Cross-Cultural Engagements in Oceania
      Roger E. Kelly
    • Koons and Hofstra: After the Backcountry: Rural Life in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1800-1900
      Bruce R. Penner

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VOL. 31, No. 4 - Article Abstracts


Mary L. Maniery

Health, Sanitation, and Diet in a Twentieth-Century Dam Construction Camp: A View from Butt Valley, California

Abstract: As the demand for electricity and steady water supplies exploded in the early-20th century, newly incorporated power and water companies throughout the West scrambled to meet this need. Monumental projects were undertaken to construct dams, powerhouses, and related features to supply the currents and water needed for cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Competition for workers was fierce, environmental conditions were harsh, and the time between beginning and ending a project was tight. The evolution of dam construction camps between 1900 and 1930 reflects a steady improvement in camp sanitation, health services, and diet, partially in response to state legislation. Archaeological work at the Butt Valley Dam Construction Camp provides insights regarding the extent to which camp operators complied with state mandates or even exceeded such standards.

Uzi Baram

The Development of Historical Archaeology in Israel: An Overview and Prospects

Abstract: The Ottoman Empire ruled over Palestine from 1516 to 1917; the nature of imperial control and the legacy of the Ottoman centuries are contested. A decade after several calls for archaeology in Israel to include the Ottoman period, in part to address some of the debates, several archaeological projects have yielded the parameters of an historical archaeology in Israel. The difficulties associated with the terminology of historical archaeology in the Middle East are briefly considered, and the definition of historical archaeology in the region as the archaeology of the Ottoman Empire is advocated. Four archaeological examples -Tel el-Hesi, Ti'innik, Yocne'am, and Akko-are employed to illustrate the contribution of this research to resolving historical questions and for contextualizing Palestine within regional and global processes of change. The prospects of the research trajectories conclude the review.

C. Wayne Smith

Preservation of Waterlogged Wooden Buttons and Threads: A Case Study

Abstract: A hydroxyl-ended polymer blended with hydrolyzable, multifunctional alkoxysilanes was used to preserve composite artifacts consisting of waterlogged wooden buttons with threads still firmly attached. Excavated from the 17th-century wreck of La Salle's vessel, La Belle, these artifacts posed a significant conservation challenge. Since previous attempts to remove the threads had caused damage to the underlying wood, the decision was made to conserve the buttons and threads simultaneously, using a silicone oil/cross-linker solution. The buttons were then exposed to vapor catalyzation to complete the polymerization process. After preservation, only minimal shrinkage of the wood and threads was noted.

Gerald F. Schroedl, Todd M. Ahlman

The Maintenance of Cultural and Personal Identities of Enslaved Africans and British Soldiers at the Brimstone Hill Fortress, St. Kitts, West Indies

Abstract: The Brimstone Hill Fortress, one of the largest colonial military complexes in the Caribbean, was occupied by the British from 1690 to 1854. Until the 1830s, a work force of enslaved Africans slaves constructed and maintained the fort. Among artifacts recovered from two buildings occupied by slaves are 155 European European-made ceramic or and glass sherds, mostly from flatware, plates, and soup plates . that They are notched or scratched with a variety of lines and geometric patterns as well as with English letters and "X'sX's". Our studies indicate that these marks were one mechanism that British soldiers and enslaved Africans slaves used to maintain their personal and cultural identities.

Paul Prince

Cultural Coherency and Resistance in Historic-Period Northwest-Coast Mortuary Practices at Kimsquit

Abstract: This paper analyzes the mortuary practices of the Kimsquit people of the central coast of British Columbia as seen at a cemetery dating approximately A.D. 1850-1927. The cemetery gives the outward appearance of rapid change in burial mode, grave goods, and grave monuments, coincident with increasing acculturative pressures. When considered within the context of written records of the Kimsquit people's attitude to Euro-Canadian culture, the use of manufactured goods evident at associated domestic sites, and the ideology behind mortuary practices, it can be argued that there was a continuance of attitudes towards death, wealth, and descent in the mortuary complex. The patterns observed here support the position that creative changes may occur under conditions of intense colonial pressure, and they are directed by underlying structures of long-term history, such that change can be a more effective strategy towards cultural survival than extreme conservatism.

William Hampton Adams

Machine Cut Nails and Wire Nails: American Production and Use for Dating 19th-Century and Early-20th-Century Sites

Abstract: The commonly cited sources used by archaeologists for dating nails have been rendered outdated by later research. Machine cut and headed nails date from 1815 onwards, while wire nails date from 1819 onward. Historical archaeologists need to avoid the simplistic use of invention dates and patent dates and focus instead on the mass-production dates. There can be a significant amount of time between an invention and its first production, and even greater time until production figures are significantly high enough to affect the archaeological record. Usually wire nails are ascribed an 1850s beginning date, but that date is both too early and too late. While some wire nails were produced in 1819, no significant quantities were produced in the United States until the mid-1880s. Thus, we need to extend the manufacturing date back some 30 years with the caveat that the effective manufacturing date range begins in the 1880s. By examining production figures for wire nails, a model is generated for dating sites built of machine cut nails. This model is then examined using data from dozens of sites in the USA and Canada. Just as important, the model provides clues to recycling activity and access to different manufacturing sources.

Michael L. Hargrave, Lewis E. Somers, Thomas K. Larson, Richard Shields, John Dendy

The Role of Resistivity Survey in Historic Site Assessment and Management: An Example from Fort Riley, Kansas

Abstract: An electrical resistivity survey of the Army City site exemplifies how geophysics can enhance the investigation and management of large historic sites. Army City was a civilian-owned commercial complex that provided goods and services to World War I era troops training at Fort Riley, Kansas. The use of resistivity at Army City enhanced the reliability of inferences about the nature and integrity of deposits, reduced the long-term costs of site management, and helped identify biases in historic maps. Geophysical techniques have the potential to play an important role in cultural resource management. Archaeologists in the United States need to develop a better understanding of the applicability and reliability of various geophysical techniques and to identify ground-truthing strategies that achieve the best balance of information return, cost, and impact to the site.

Sunshine Psota

Boss of the Road: Early-Twentieth-Century Consumer Selections of Work Clothing from Alabama Gates Work Camp, Owens Valley, California

Abstract: The beginning of the 20th century saw the establishment of more work-clothing companies fueled by changes in laborers' clothing options and the expiration of the patent on riveted garments. While consumer strategies for buying merchandise revolved around the typical purchaser, generally the female head of the household, particular situations (such as work camps in the western United States) were overwhelmingly comprised of individual men who not only built water or transportation systems but needed to negotiate their way through outfitting themselves for this work. What kind of shopping choices and brand names were available to this consumer while working in isolated areas? Product availability and cost provide a context for examining the buying strategies and fashion choices of work-camp workers. The 393 brand-name buttons from at least 110 work-clothing garments identified during data recovery at the 1912 Alabama Gates Construction Camp in southeastern California is used as the case study.

Audrey J. Horning

Myth, Migration, and Material Culture: Archaeology and the Ulster Influence on Appalachia

Abstract: Studies of the material record of the southern mountains, in conjunction with documentary research and judicious use of oral history, have the potential to fundamentally alter the manner in which the regional cultures and identities of Appalachia have traditionally been studied and, in so doing, to decrease the marginalization of the region through addressing the complexity of its past. A National Park Service-sponsored archaeological project centering on three mountain hollows in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, focused upon identifying and analyzing the physical traces of 18th- through 20th-century settlement in a region long portrayed as the last refuge of hardy Scotch-Irish pioneers. Information from this study is used to test the model of Scotch-Irish cultural dominance in Appalachia, with a reevaluation of the nature of the 18thcentury migration from the north of Ireland and a critical consideration of the linkages between ethnicity and material expression.


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