Economic Archaeology

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

The papers in this session place economic questions at the forefront of Historical Archaeology. The authors consider archaeological remains from diverse contexts including a Mexican hacienda, as well as fishing and mining sites. The dual notions of economics and capitalists expansion play keys roles in this diverse series of papers.

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  • Documents (5)

  • Archaeology Goes Underground: The Potential for Historical Archaeology in Wind Cave (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Allison Young. Stephen Damm.

    Caves offer a unique point of intersection between the natural and cultural worlds. While caves have often been the topic of discussion in archaeological literature, this discussion has primarily focused on prehistoric uses, and more often than not equates cave with rock shelter. In contrast, we will be discussing historic uses of caves with extended dark zones. Using data from Wind Cave National Park (WICA) collected during explorations, we hope to elucidate how the historical uses of caves...

  • An Archaeology of Community Investment: The Old Edgebrook Schoolhouse in Chicago, Illinois (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jane Baxter.

    Many contemporary communities use refurbished schools to house historical societies and museums, and they are valued as part of local history. One-room schoolhouses also may be used to explore community investment and identity in the past; as such schools were built using locally donated land, labor, funds, and materials. Community members made deliberate choices in how to design and furnish their school. Such choices were investigated at the Old Edgebrook Schoolhouse in northwest Chicago,...

  • The changing fiscal landscape of early nineteenth-century New England: State-chartered banks and the access to capital (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Moore.

    In the first half of the Nineteenth Century, New England’s fiscal landscape was transformed by the growth in state-chartered commercial banks. Between 1784 and 1860 the number of state-chartered local banks in New England increased from 1 to 505. In the currency-starved Early Republic, the expansion marks an explosive growth in access to short-term commercial loans for merchant’s purchase of inventory. Moreover, as these banks spread across New England’s town commons, there was an...

  • Rogue Fishermen and Rebel Miners: Informal Economy and Drinking Spaces in Maine and Montana’s Resource Extraction Communities (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Megan Victor.

    This paper examines the way that frontier spaces shaped their inhabitants’ interactions, considering informal economy, trade and exchange, and the negotiation of social capital through commensal politics, as seen in the archaeological record. The processes at work within frontier locales influence inhabitants in such similar ways that they can be examined broadly across time and space. Frontier spaces are central to a more nuanced understanding of the trade networks that spanned the Atlantic and...

  • Vital Records and Landscape: Mobility, Family, and Commercial Agriculture at the Hacienda El Mirador, Veracruz, Mexico, 1830-1910 (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William Werner.

    El Mirador was an expansive sugarcane and coffee estate established in the 1830s by European capital among a sparsely populated landscape of ranchers and smallholders in central Veracruz state, Mexico. Archaeological survey of the hacienda ‘s central processing facilities indicates the labor demands of the estate, while research into the civil and ecclesiastical records of births, marriages, and deaths among the resident workforce details the social and familial circumstances of these laborers....