Guest Editor Donna J. Seifert
Wealthy, Free, and Female: Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century New York
Abstract: Increasing class consciousness permeated the institution of prostitution in 19th-century New York City. In a Five Points brothel that was closed in 1843, the resident working-class prostitutes manipulated accoutrements of gentility to attract a bourgeois clientele. They used the symbols of middle-class respectability to their own advantage, increasing the value of the commodity they offered for sale and enjoying the comforts that money could buy. The artifacts recovered from the brothel's privy suggest that when the women were not working they lived no better than their sisters in the tenements. Ceramics and food remains, in particular, fall into two contrasting groups: one that is comparable to the upper middle class and the other that resembles other working-class residents of Five Points. The duality reveals exploitation as well as economic well-being and pain as well as pleasure. Five Points prostitutes may have looked wealthy, free, and female from the outside, but an inside perspective suggests their lives were considerably more complex.
Babies in the Privy: Prostitution, Infanticide, and Abortion in New York City's Five Points District
Abstract: Excavation of a privy shaft associated with a 19th-century tenement at 12 Orange Street in New York City's Five Points district revealed the skeletal remains of two fullterm neonates and a fetus. The well-preserved neonatal remains, probably twins, represent either concealment of a stillbirth or neonaticide, a subtype of infanticide. The presence of the "quickened" fetus in a different privy layer reflects concealment of a miscarriage or an induced abortion. Historical documents indicate that city authorities closed a "disorderly house" or brothel located in the tenement's cellar in 1843 due to neighbors' complaints. Within this historical context, the discovery of the skeletal remains provides an opportunity to trace changes in American social and legal attitudes regarding infanticide, abortion, and prostitution and explore the difficult choices faced by workingwomen in New York City from the colonial period to the middle of the 19th century.
Illicit Congress in the Nation's Capital: The History of Mary Ann Hall's Brothel
Abstract: Mary Ann Hall ran a high-class brothel in Washington, DC, from about 1840 until the 1870s. Located several blocks from the capitol building at 349 Maryland Avenue, it probably served wealthy, well-connected men in the national capital. During the Civil War, it was likely the largest brothel in the city. When Hall died in 1886, she left behind a valuable estate and was buried in Washington's Congressional Cemetery. Intensive background research uncovered documentary evidence that sheds light on this high-class brothel as well as on prostitution in general in Washington, DC, during the 19th century. Sources included census records, city directories, tax assessments, deeds, maps, historic photographs and prints, police precinct records, historic newspapers, and several unique 19th century and contemporary publications on prostitution in general and Washington, DC, scandals. Especially enlightening sources were a series of newspaper articles detailing Mary Ann Hall's 1864 indictment for keeping a bawdy house and a collection of papers in the District of Columbia Archives documenting the legal battle among Hall's heirs for her estate. The latter includes a room-by-room inventory made in 1886 that reveals the contents of the house where Hall ran her brothel.
Mary Ann Hall's House
Abstract: Archaeological data recovery investigations were conducted at the site of the new National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Investigations included excavations on two lots, one that included Mary Ann Hall's mid-19th-century brothel and the adjacent lot that included deposits associated with the brothel's occupation. The archaeological record complemented the historical record, confirming that the brothel was a highclass establishment. The brothel's 1860s deposits yielded evidence of expensive ceramics, champagne, and a wide variety of foods. Comparison of the artifact assemblage from Hall's brothel with mid-19th-century family households in Washington, DC, supports the interpretation that the brothel purchased expensive consumer goods. Comparison of Hall's brothel with other brothel assemblages in Washington, DC, revealed no simple brothel artifact signature but illustrated economic-status differences among the brothels.
Public Image and Private Reality: An Analysis of Differentiation in a Nineteenth–Century St. Paul Bordello
Abstract: In spring 1997, during preparation for construction of the new Science Museum of Minnesota, the brothel of an infamous St. Paul madam and other "boardinghouses" were uncovered. This archaeological area was designated the Washington Street District. Subsequent data recovery revealed a wealth of archaeological data that contradicted official government documents and addressed some of the many myths and legends surrounding Nina Clifford's bordello. Differences between the artifacts used by the customers and the residents are apparent in vessel types, faunal remains, and other artifact types. Conclusions reflect the relationship between the brothel's public image and the reality of the day-to-day lives of the residents. The preponderance of the archaeological evidence for poor health conditions of the residents contradicts the myths of the glamorous sporting life of Nina Clifford's establishment. While the women may have enjoyed higher incomes and better food, it was at a high price.
Brothels and Saloons: An Archaeology of Gender in the American West
Abstract: An analysis of eight artifact collections from mining-related communities in the North American West sheds light on the manifestation of gender in the archaeological record. Saloons and brothels served similar functions in the mining boomtowns, often overlapping. A critical difference between the two types of collections lies in who was selecting the material culture: men or women. Women's contributions to the archaeological assemblages of sporting establishments can be identified by items specific to them, as well as by relatively high percentages of pharmaceuticals. High frequencies of armaments and generic personal items in the brothels may have more to do with the specific activities taking place in the brothels than with gender. The importance of distinguishing between the brothels and saloons is examined in the context of feminist theory.
City of Angels, City of Sin: Archaeology in the Los Angeles Red-Light District ca. 1900
Abstract: In June 1996, archaeological excavations at the Union Station in downtown Los Angeles uncovered a portion of the city's former red-light district. The district thrived from the 1870s until a reform government closed it down in 1909. A six-seat privy complex associated with a parlor house (ca. 1880-1901), densely filled with household items, provides insight into life behind the red lights. Domestic deposits from the prostitutes' neighbors were also recovered, providing comparative collections. Artifact deposits were evaluated in the field to ensure that only those collections with integrity and clear historic associations were brought back to the lab for analysis. Documentary research focused on identifying features associated with specific brothels and households. Artifacts were tabulated using minimum number of item counts, and frequency tables were developed for making meaningful comparisons. Noteworthy contrasts between the prostitutes and their neighbors are found in activities related to the consumption of alcohol and food and to grooming and health.
Health and Disease in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco: Skeletal Evidence from a Forgotten Cemetery
Abstract: Burials from the Legion of Honor cemetery provide osteological evidence of the living conditions experienced by economically disadvantaged people who died in San Francisco during the last half of the 19th century. Comparisons suggest their lives were similar to those of other lower-class 19th century Americans. Rapid population growth, overcrowded housing, sanitation problems, and water contamination probably contributed to the shared disease patterns seen in urban areas throughout the United States in the mid-19th century. Some significant population differences, however, do exist. The relatively high frequency of enamel hypoplasia in the Legion of Honor population may be attributed to conditions unique to San Francisco's urban poor as well as to the stressful conditions the city's immigrants faced as children in their places of origin. The lower frequency of nasal fractures may be attributed to changing patterns of interpersonal violence associated with the commercialization of boxing during the early-20th century.
Regulars and "Irregulars": British and Provincial Variability among Eighteenth-Century Military Frontiers
Abstract: Historical studies have detailed the joint service of provincial and British regular soldiers during the Seven Years' War (ca. 1754-1763) in colonial North America. The complex relations between these communities and their effect on the material record of military settlements, however, have not been fully addressed within historical archaeology. An analysis of British and provincial domestic structures at New York military sites employing lead shot and ceramic data reveals small-scale material variation between these two groups. The effect that different scales of analysis will have on the nature of this variation is recognized, and a preliminary spatial model of provincial-British relations is developed. The model assumes significant distinctions will characterize small-scale provincial and British contexts, while larger frames of reference may demonstrate similar or conflicting material patterns based on the historical relationship between the two communities. The context for this analysis is informed by recent critiques of large-scale core/periphery perspectives in the archaeology of frontier settlements.
Eighteenth-Century Redware Folk Terms and Vessel Forms: A Survey of Utilitarian Wares from Southeastern Pennsylvania
Abstract: Domestically produced, lead-glazed red earthenwares (or redwares) are among the most frequently recovered artifacts from 18th-century Pennsylvania sites. Utilitarian pottery met the colonial consumer's need for inexpensive, everyday wares for food preparation, dairying, and tableware. Comparison of two data sources resulted in the organization of an incipient type series for southeastern Pennsylvania redwares. A survey of a variety of primary documents yielded a folk lexicon for some redware vessels. These terms have been tentatively ascribed to reconstructed vessels from six archaeological assemblages from the southeastern Pennsylvania region. A pattern of continuity in a number of vessel forms has also been observed in the redware assemblages analyzed. Prior to the initiation of redware manufacture in America, a flourishing network of commercial trade throughout 17th-century Europe contributed to the ethnic fusion of specific vessel shapes. By the late 1700s, immigrant craftsmen had incorporated these specific vessel shapes into their potting repertoire.
Excavating the Dugout House of Norwegian Immigrant Anna Byberg Christopherson Goulson, Swift County, Minnesota
Abstract: This article presents the results of excavations on the dugout house site of Anna Byberg Christopherson Goulson in west central Minnesota. Anna and Lars Christopherson reportedly moved into their dugout house ca. 1868. With the death of Lars and two of their five children in 1878, Anna married Hans Goulson (who had immigrated to the area from Wisconsin) in 1879. Sometime after the birth of their first child in the dugout in late 1879, Anna and Hans built a small wood-frame house on land located about one-half mile south of the dugout. The dugout house, like the sod house, was a typical solution for providing quick and inexpensive shelter for families settling new farms on the prairie frontier regions of the Upper Midwest. Archaeological investigations identified the Christopherson/Goulson dugout house and documented the belowground architecture of this intriguing structure. While neither the dugout structure nor the artifact assemblage is particularly reflective of the family's Norwegian heritage, their subsequent ca. 1880 wood-frame house was decorated to reflect their Norwegian roots.
Back to the Bowl: Using English Tobacco Pipebowls to Calculate Mean Site-Occupation Dates
Abstract: The form of English white ball-clay pipebowls can be used to determine accurate mean dates for historical contexts. Using previously established bowl seriations and typologies on the well-dated material assemblage uncovered at the site of the 1607 James Fort at Jamestown Island, Virginia, a newly developed calculation proves to be a reliable technique of assessing chronology. Determining the pipebowl mean date involves identifying the shape of each bowl, counting the number of examples of each morphological type, and then completing a series of simple arithmetic calculations. The pipebowl-dating device correlates well with other archaeological lines of evidence. On average, pipebowl mean dates are within seven years of mean dates established by other factors. This method regularly outperforms established pipestem-based mean-date measures.
Social Flux at the Naval Establishment at Penetanguishene, Lake Huron, 1817-1834
Abstract: Factors influencing the spatial arrangement of buildings at the Royal Navy establishment at Penetanguishene on Lake Huron are discussed. Excavation at the naval hospital at this site provides new insight into the residential movements of the various social groups at the base. Analysis of stratigraphy and artifacts recovered from the hospital suggests that the assistant naval surgeon and his wife, military officers, and aboriginal people resided in the structure at various times over a 17-year period. Contemporary attitudes toward social and economic status, service rank/rating, and aboriginal people are explored within the context of the archaeological and documentary evidence to explain changes in residential patterning through time.
Landscapes of Industrial Labor
Mark S. Cassell, Guest Editor
The Material Culture of an Industrial Artifact: Interpreting Control, Defiance, and Everyday Resistance at the New South Wales Eveleigh Railway Workshops
Abstract: The Eveleigh Railway Workshops operated between the 1880s and the late 1980s in Sydney, Australia. Using an interpretive approach and drawing on the concept of the cultural landscape, the relationship between the spatial arrangement of Eveleigh's nonportable structures, its operations management strategies, and the material-cultural practices of its employees are investigated. In addition, archival and oral sources are related to the site's material culture in order to explain how patterns of work and interaction gave rise to discourses and practices of control and defiance. On this basis, attention to such intangible and ephemeral dimensions of the archaeological record as workers' resistance can provide an effective means for understanding how one group of people actively shaped their physical environment.
Early Pastoral Landscapes and Culture Contact in Central Australia
Abstract: The arrival of British pastoralists throughout central Australia from the 1850s marked the introduction of wool production, predominantly for industrialized Britain. Pastoral industries were both capitalist and colonizing enterprises. Archaeological research and historical documents from pastoral station managers reveal how indigenous people were involved in the workings of Strangways Springs Station in northern South Australia (1860-1900). Research reveals differential Aboriginal involvement in the pastoral industry, indicated by two phases in the development of the pastoral station. Changes in pastoral work practice over time influenced cultural interaction.
Mining Landscapes and Colonial Rule in Early-Twentieth-Century Cyprus
Abstract: In the early 20th century the large-scale copper and asbestos mines of Cyprus were intimately associated with colonial rule, both in their ideologies and in their actual operations. For the Cypriot miners, this represented a major disruption of long-standing values and required a new negotiation of their relationship with their British colonizers. Attempts to control mining landscapes and communities interplayed with a range of actions from submission to everyday resistance to strikes and riots. These dynamics are most clearly seen by examining the entire landscape. Particularly revealing aspects include the naming of mining landscapes, the surveillance of miners, the complex relationship between mining and agriculture, the actual and symbolic manipulation of artifacts, the expression of control and resistance in miners' housing, and shifting concepts of community.
The Dynamite Factory: An Industrial Landscape in Late-Nineteenth-Century South Africa
Abstract: The development of deep-level mining on the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in the mid-1880s and the concomitant increase in demands for blasting explosives led to the establishment, in 1895, of a dynamite factory at Modderfontein, northeast of Johannesburg. Staffed by laborers drawn from across the African subcontinent and professionals and artisans recruited from established European dynamite factories, the community was highly cosmopolitan in nature, a microcosm of burgeoning Johannesburg. At Modderfontein, however, corporate interpretation of this social diversity was particular. Perceptions of ethnic complexity and their appropriate jointing were seminal in the organizations and mediations of communities and are harnessed in a reading of the landscape. Although premised on European design theories, Modderfontein must be understood as a distinct colonial articulation, a specific late-19th-century interpretation of local and global historical trajectories.
Creating and Domesticating Hungary's Socialist Industrial Landscape: From Dunapentele to Sztélinvéros, 1950-1958
Abstract: Eastern Europe's socialist new cities have been seen as embodying "politicized landscapes"; in other words, landscapes created by socialist dictatorships according to their own ideological purposes. The region's socialist new cities were indeed identified as distinctively socialist landscapes, but the processes by which they came to be understood as such by the citizens of socialist states were far more complex than top-down accounts allow. The reactions of both builders and residents of the Hungarian new city of Sztélinvéros (Stalin City) to the urban form are examined in order to show how the city came to be seen as a distinctively socialist industrial landscape. Employing an approach based on a dialogue between the methods of historical archaeology and social history is employed, demonstrating that an examination of popular responses to material culture can reveal much about state socialism in Eastern Europe and its nature.
Landscapes of Resistance: A View of the Nineteenth-Century Chesapeake Bay Oyster Fishery
Abstract: The introduction of industrialized harvesting techniques to the Chesapeake Bay oyster fishery in the 19th century was resisted by communities of oyster tongers who represented traditional fishing methods. Maryland oyster tongers contested the advancement of industrial harvesting through various means. Important to this opposition was the development of an occupational identity that promoted traditional values and fishing practices and rejected wage labor. Natural and cultural landscapes of the working and domestic spheres helped shape and reproduce this occupational identity in part by placing constraints on aspects of the lifeways of oyster tonging communities. Ultimately, these landscapes became emblems of the distinctive life and economic choices of oyster tongers.
The Landscape of Van Winkle's Mill: Identity, Myth, and Modernity in the Ozark Upland South
Abstract: Archaeological investigations at Van Winkle's Mill (3BE413), a mid-to-late-19th century sawmill in the Arkansas Ozarks, were conducted between October 1997 and October 2003. These investigations yielded information that may help clarify the changing social relations and race constructions associated with the end of the antebellum era as expressed via landscape usage. Additionally, the excavations have much to say regarding our stereotypes of both slavery (and by extension the whole African Diaspora) and the inhabitants of the American upland South.
The Landscape of Iñupiat Eskimo Industrial Labor
Abstract: Archaeological data from excavations at a north Alaskan commercial shore whaling station and documentary information are used to trace the development of an Iñupiat Eskimo labor force in the western Arctic commercial whaling industry in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. For nearly a thousand years, Iñupiat have been communal hunters of the bowhead whale. American commercial whalers arrived at Point Barrow in 1854 and in 1888 began hiring Eskimos to staff the whaling stations as wage labor. The material remuneration for labor enabled many Eskimo commoners to strive for the otherwise unattainable high-status role of traditional umialik. This initial commoditization of Eskimo labor in the western Arctic saw an incorporation of two distinctive landscapes: one indigenous and Iñupiat, the other introduced and Euroamerican. These landscapes had some overlap, but were not at all coterminous; each had its own origins and means and ends, its own raison d'etre.
Fashionable and Work Shoes from a Nineteenth-Century Boston Privy
Abstract: In 1993 excavation of a privy at 27/29 Endicott Street in Boston, Massachusetts, yielded fragments of fashionable and work shoes dating from the 1850s to the 1880s. During these years, two household types lived at the house: all females, some of whom may have been prostitutes, from the 1850s to 1867; and a doctor and his family from 1867 to the 1880s. Three shoe features provide clues about shoe construction and the wearers’ class, gender, and occupation: (1) construction methods, apparent in the soles; (2) style, most evident in shoe uppers; and (3) size. Artifacts provide new evidence of a rand, a shoe part found in the sole.
Excavations of a 19th-century Boston privy and cistern yielded a wide variety of artifacts including glass, ceramics, buttons, leather, textiles, and food remains; the research focused on the leather artifacts, identifiable mostly as shoe fragments, and the occupants of two houses associated with the privy. Over a 30-year period, two different types of households lived at 27/29 Endicott Street. Differences in the leather artifact patterns for each household, based on the construction, style, and sizing of the shoes, provide inferences about the class, gender, and occupation of the occupants. Other archaeological finds provide comparative material in relation to prostitution, female boarding houses, shoe styles, and shoe construction (Anderson 1968; Huddleson and Watanabe 1990; Seifert 1991, 1994; Costello et al. 1998). The Endicott Street site artifacts also contain new evidence of a type of rand used in place of a midsole.
Public Dialectics: Marxist Reflection in Archaeology
Abstract: The public dimensions of archaeological practice are explored through a new method called Marxist reflexivity. This use for Marxism draws a parallel with recent reflexive archaeologies that highlight the impact of archaeologists and archaeological processes on the creation of archaeological records. Though similar in this sense of critique, reflexive and Marxist archaeologies do not often overlap, as each is essentially driven by a distinct agenda and logic. Through a critical review of four public programs undertaken in historical archaeology, this distinction is disassembled.
Target Architecture of a Suspected Firing Range at Fort Fred Steele, Wyoming
Abstract: Field survey and artifact recovery revealed several features with high concentrations of cartridge cases and fired bullets at Fort Fred Steele, Wyoming. The bullet concentrations surround four large piles of river cobbles and associated wood fragments. Later research suggested the features represent two distinct firing range complexes, each comprised of multiple target positions and at least one firing position. The cobble piles and wood are believed to be remains of target markers’ shelters. Feature SC-2 provides significant evidence supporting this hypothesis but appears to exhibit an atypical style of architecture. Historical investigation validates Feature SC-2’s geographic location, while artifact analysis dates the feature to the period of Fort Fred Steele’s military occupation. An in-situ fired bullet in direct contact with wooden architecture, a brief metal-detecting survey, and a firing range model further corroborate the identification of Feature SC-2 as a target marker’s shelter on an established firing range.
Space and Structure at an Australian Timber Camp
Abstract: Remote timber camps were common in Australian forests and woodlands during the 19th and early-20th centuries. They usually featured accommodation, a boarding house for meals, and a tramline to connect the sawmill and camp to the outside world. Henry’s No.1 Mill was typical of such places. It operated between 1904 and 1927 in the Otway Ranges, southwest of Melbourne. Survey and excavation of the site in 1997 and 1998 yielded evidence of architectural layout and consumption practices. Spatial analysis of the mill examines the structure and pattern of housing, the nature and distribution of amenities, and movement between the site and nearby townships. Workers and residents were both isolated from and integrated with the wider world, continually negotiating the use of space within their homes, around the camp, and beyond.
Faith and Practice at an Early-Eighteenth-Century Wampanoag Burial Ground: The Waldo Farm Site in Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Abstract: Recent archaeological interpretations of colonial Native American cemeteries in southeastern New England typically focus on the interplay of resistance and accommodation and creative reimagining of Native practices in the face of Anglo-American oppression. Resistance is tracked primarily via “traditional” mortuary ceremonialism. The Waldo Farm cemetery in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, is unlike any other archaeologically known colonial Native burial ground in the region. Native burial practices there seem indistinguishable from local Anglo-American practices. How may one approach the interpretation of such a site? Postcolonial concepts such as hybridization, mimicry, and appropriation, which emphasize the interdependence of domination and resistance, are used. The local cultural context, especially the religious context, of the Waldo site may explain mortuary choices there.
Unfired Brandon Gunflints from the Presidio Santa María de Galve, Pensacola, Florida
Abstract: A cache of 1,239 unfi red Brandon gunflints was recovered at the Presidio Santa María de Galve site in Pensacola, Florida. Composed of both gray spall and blade gunflints, this assemblage is unique in terms of its size and the fact that none of the gunflints showed evidence of firing or reworking. Although precise dating of the cache based on documentary, archaeological, and internal gunflint data is problematic, it is believed to have originated in the early-19th century. This mint-condition assemblage provides a rare opportunity to explore the dimensional characteristics of historic English gunflints before they were subjected to the reduction processes of firing and resharpening. Descriptive data are presented and compared with other gunflint collections, and the significance of the formal and temporal characteristics of this assemblage is discussed.
Material Expressions of Social Inequality on a Porfirian Sugar Hacienda in Yucatán, Mexico
Abstract: Power relations intrinsic to the institution of debt peonage clearly influenced material conditions on the haciendas of Yucatán prior to the Mexican Revolution. Recent investigations at a late-19th- and early-20th-century sugar hacienda explore the material basis for its relations of production. The evidence indicates that hacienda owners divided the indebted workforce and then provided a select group of laborers with privileged access to material resources. Vernacular architecture, settlement layout, and the distribution of imported ceramics all signify social inequality within the labor force. Material disparities on the estate suggest a negotiation of power through the exchange of rewards for the loyalties of a managerial class. Moreover, the inequalities may have accentuated a social order perceived by Yucatecan elites, while inhibiting indebted class solidarity.
Perspective and Surveillance in Eighteenth-Century Maryland Gardens, Including William Paca’s Garden on Wye Island
Abstract: Since 1981, 18th-century formal gardens and landscapes in Annapolis have been archaeologically explored to demonstrate that they are exercises in using solid geometry to control perspective. Building on this earlier work, William Paca’s last garden, built on Wye Island in the late 1700s, is interpreted to explore the methods by which these gardens were constructed and the meanings and uses of the gardens. Scholars have suggested that by the 1720s the genteel in America routinely created gardens as extensions of their homes. The desire to manage the views in gardens is in the application of the laws of geometry to wilderness. It is suggested that these ordered landscapes, as centerpieces of leisure in the midst of the working plantation and as places to display oneself to visitors and workers alike, were also consonant with slaveholder ideology and the ideals of the new republic.