Applying Contemporary Perspectives to New England Historical Archaeology

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

As the field of Historical Archaeology has changed since the first time the SHA pondered the «Questions that Count» in 1987, so too have the goals and practices of historical archaeology in New England changed. Not only have the techniques and technologies used in remote sensing, excavation, mapping, and artifact analysis become more advanced and powerful, but archaeologists have developed new kinds of questions and introduced novel theoretical perspectives to address their queries. Papers in this session consider the ways in which perspectives on Historical Archaeology developed in the past 35 years can be applied to the archaeological study of New England. Issues considered in this session include memory and heritage, personal and community identities, the creation of the urban landscape, and contemporary approaches to the people and practices of New England’s past.

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  • Documents (9)

  • Archaeology on the Line: A 19th century mill hamlet on the Maine-New Brunswick border (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen Scharoun. Ellen R. Cowie. Gemma-Jayne Hudgell. Jessica M. Stuart. Rosemary A. Cyr.

    Archaeological investigations at the Historic Period Boundary Line Mill Hamlet (BLMH) site (ME 055-001) in Bridgewater, Aroostook County, Maine was conducted by the Northeast Archaeology Research Center, Inc. (NE ARC) on behalf of United States (U.S.) Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Archaeological phase II testing and phase III data recovery was conducted at the site through a contract with Geo-Marine, Inc. and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. Archaeological...

  • Community, Identity, and Murder in Dedham, Massachusetts: The Fairbanks Family’s Response to the Jason Fairbanks Trial (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Travis Parno.

    In 1801, the town of Dedham, Massachusetts was rocked by the violent death of 19-year-old Elizabeth Fales. The town, and indeed the nation, struggled to comprehend an event that seemed inconceivable in such a close-knit community. When Jason Fairbanks was convicted and executed for Elizabeth’s murder, the Fairbanks family was forced to rebuild and reinvent themselves within the Dedham community. Using documentary, architectural, and archaeological sources, this paper relates the circumstances...

  • Continuity of Nipmuc Lithic Practice and Identity in a Colonial Landscape (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joseph Bagley.

    This paper examines the lithic assemblage from the Sarah Boston site in Grafton, Massachusetts, a multi-generational Nipmuc family living in a European-style in the 18th and early 19th centuries. 163 lithic artifacts, primarily quartz flakes and cores, were identified with concentrations in the house’s kitchen midden. Reworked gunflints and worked glass were examined as examples of lithic practice associated with artifacts that are conclusively datable to the period after European arrival. The...

  • «The Cream of Goods» An Analysis of Creamware from the Narbonne House in Salem, Massachusetts (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicole Estey.

    The archaeological investigations at the Narbonne House in Salem, Massachusetts were completed in 1975, though the collection has still not been extensively analyzed. The 270 creamware vessels from the site are the focus of this study because the ware is a useful tool in investigating the social, cultural, and economic shifts during the eighteenth century, and it also provides a foundation for future work. Creamware was one of the first fashionable wares that was affordable to the ‘middling...

  • The Disappearing Artifacts: Where are the 17th and 18th-century artifacts on rural New England farmstead sites? (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sara Belkin.

    Settlement of New England began with the founding of Plymouth and spread rapidly throughout the New England environment. Present on the landscape stand many buildings that can be dated to these early periods of settlement. However, during excavations of many rural 17th and 18th century sites, the material culture used and disposed by these early colonists is rarely recovered. Though these early homes and even outbuildings may be present, artifacts that can be used to understand the colonists...

  • Household Spaces: 18th- and 19th-Century Spatial Practices on the Eastern Pequot Reservation (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anna Hayden.

    Native American populations living on colonially created and governed reservations, such as the Eastern Pequot in Connecticut, contended with settler and colonial policies and practices on a daily basis in the 18th and 19th centuries, long after «contact.» Using the colonial environment and the inherently spatial restrictions of the Eastern Pequot reservation as frameworks, this paper addresses the daily aspects of Eastern Pequot families living and working within their household spaces during a...

  • On the Block: the Dynamics of Social Practice in a 19th-century Working Class Urban Landscape in Boston, Massachusetts (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alexander Keim.

    From the point of view of a resident of a historic urban landscape, the most dynamic and most important aspects of daily life would not have been the architecture, but the daily, repeated social interactions vital to the creation of meaningful, memorable places. This study uses archaeological and documentary evidence to build a contextualized understanding of the urban landscape that accounts for the various people, movements, and practices that defined daily social life. Specifically, this...

  • A Tale of Two Trading Posts (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jessica Nelson.

    In the 17th century New Netherland, a colony run by the Dutch West India Trading Company in what is now New York, was the locus of the Dutch Fur Trade. Throughout the early years of the colony, this trade was restricted to Fort Orange, the company’’s official trading post located in modern day Albany. While this trade thrived, the colony did not, forcing company officials to release their monopoly on the Fur Trade and opening it to all residents in the colony. Following this declaration, a...

  • What Comes Next? Training & Technology in Underwater Archaeology (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sara Belkin. Travis Parno.

    An archaeological field school is a professional learning experience that, for most students in the field, is one of the first steps towards officially beginning a career. For nautical archaeologists in particular, this critical component of their training and development is especially important. In addition to documentation skills and methodology, there is another level of competencies and techniques required to ensure safety in a challenging occupational environment. There has been a steady...