Crops and Culture: The Archaeology of Agricultural Thought

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  • Documents (7)

  • Agriculture As Impetus For Culture Contact In Carolina During The 1670s (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Agha.

    The first colonists who arrived at Charles Towne in 1670 came with new tropical cultivars and familiar, Old World crops, as well as explicit planting instructions from the Lords Proprietors—mainly Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury was himself an avid British planter and asserted that planting, and nothing else, created colonies. His first plantation in Carolina did not produce the crops he desired, and in 1674, he founded a new, much larger estate farm. This...

  • Between Ideals and Reality: The Modernization of Southern Agriculture - 1830 to 1865 (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kevin Fogle.

    An agricultural reform movement took rise in the late antebellum period aimed at modernizing the southern plantation system. Productivity of once prosperous farmland in many southern communities was gradually failing due to soil degradation from intensive cash crop cultivation. Drawing on Enlightenment principles and scientific farming innovations such as crop rotation, fertilization, and soil chemistry, this modern agricultural discourse attempted to control and maximize the efficiency of the...

  • Cotton to the Doorstep: Gardening and Food Storage in the Early 20th-Century Southeast (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sunshine Thomas.

    Early 20th-century southeastern farmers with the means to do so diversified and adopted the materials and methods of farm modernization. Poorer families grew cash crops almost exclusively, detrimental to their garden spaces and their wellbeing. Archaeologists have measured modernization, in part, through the presence of glass storageware. However, the act of storing gardened and gathered foods did not necessarily require modern materials or methods. Materials changed through time, but in many...

  • The Deep History of a Modern Phenomenon: An Archaeological Perspective on Corporate Agriculture in Northwest Ohio (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maura Johnson. Robert Chidester.

    Yard signs proclaiming, "Family Farms Not Factory Farms!" are a common site along rural highways in the Midwest. These signs are a direct response to the tremendous growth of corporate agriculture during the second half of the 20th century and the concomitant decline of the traditional farming model in which a single family owns and operates a productive, commercial farm. While most lay people likely assume that "factory farms" are a fairly recent economic phenomenon, in reality land...

  • Developing an Ecological Interpretation of Land Use in Virginia’s Piedmont: The Montpelier Example (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stefan F. Woehlke.

                    Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE) provides an intriguing opportunity for the interpretation of plantation management strategies. HBE has been applied with some interesting results to interpretations of past human behavior, but many claim it is inappropriate to interpret past life through the application of economic theory developed in the modern era. This approach is also criticized as a reductionist analytical approach based in conservative microeconomic theory. In light of these...

  • Plants, People, And Pottery: Looking At The Personal Agriculture Of The Enslaved In South Carolina. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicole M. Isenbarger.

    The wealth of the Southern states was built upon the free labor of enslaved Africans toiling in the agricultural fields of their masters’ staple crops. In the Lowcountry of South Carolina the enslaved worked within the task system, which allotted them "free time" to then work to supplement the meager rations they were given. Research into the diets and spirituality of enslaved Africans can lend insight into the foods they purchased, grew, and foraged – personal agriculture in the face of...

  • The Shift From Tobacco To Wheat Farming: Using Macrobotanical Analysis To Interpret How Changes In Agricultural Practices Impacted The Daily Activities Of Monticello’s Enslaved Field Laborers. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephanie Hacker.

    In 1997 Site 8 was uncovered at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello through excavations conducted by the staff of the Monticello Department of Archaeology and students in the Monticello-University of Virginia Archaeological Field School. Six features identified as either storage pits or cellars provide evidence of four buildings that once stood to house enslaved field hands between c. 1770 and c. 1800. This occupation is contemporaneous with the period in which Thomas Jefferson shifted Monticello’s...