Archaeologies of Removal

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

Anthropologies and histories of removal have been exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of deportation and other types of forced resettlement for some time. This topic is less resonant in archaeology, presenting us with an opportunity for dialogue on the materiality of geographical displacement. To that end, this symposium invites contributors to discuss questions that provide fruitful avenues for exploring individual or social expulsion. What is the relationship between material culture and the causes, processes, or effects of removal? What concepts or theories most effectively promote research on dramatic relocations? Do ethnographic and historical studies of themes such as migration, asylum, human rights, transnational citizenship, embodiment, globalization, confinement, or militarism provide useful analytical domains for archaeologists? Where would national reservations or colonial reducciones fit into this discourse? How might the forces and opponents of enslavement resonate with other issues raised in the discussion? What approaches best represent and explain the scope and significance of geo-disruption? Does the discourse change when primary force(s) of relocation are natural or climatic? Ultimately, archaeologies of removal could involve many themes and intersect with various topics.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-6 of 6)

  • Documents (6)

  • Archaeologies of Removal: The Adaeseños of late 18th century Spanish Texas (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Morris K. Jackson. Tom Middlebrook. George Avery.

    The strategic importance of the presidio and missions on the eastern boundary of the province of Texas was diminished just prior to the end of the Seven Years War when France ceded its holdings west of the Mississippi River to Spain in 1762. Much of French Louisiana became Spanish, and the Spanish decided to close the three missions and presidio in the area of Los Adaes in 1773. Hundreds of Adaeseños were removed to San Antonio some 400 miles away. Many eventually returned in 1779 to the...

  • Reconciling African Enslavement and Chickasaw Removal (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Terrance Weik.

    Native American removal from lands east of the Mississippi River is often recounted in narratives that emphasize injustices (e.g. physical stressors of migration). However, the paper-trail documenting the Chickasaw semi-forced migration provides glimpses of people of African descent whose lives were shaped by generations of displacement in captivity. These enslaved migrants made a significant difference in the fortunes of indigenous slaveholders, playing a role in issues such as the amount...

  • Situational Identity and The Materiality of Illegal Immigration (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lori Lee.

    This paper centers on a material culture analysis of the contents of an abandoned emigrant’s backpack found in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Documents and objects identify the emigrant as a young Haitian man. These objects are remnants from the long, arduous journey of a displaced individual from a politically and economically conflicted homeland to a contested U.S. territory. The objects are tangible artifacts of struggle, persistence, and agency. They are simultaneously artifacts of...

  • A Tale of Two Removals: Fort Hampton, Alabama (1810-1817) (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tonya Chandler.

    This paper will investigate the material and structural remains of Fort Hampton, an American military installation established in 1810 near a branch of the Elk River, in present-day Limestone County, Alabama. Fort Hampton was constructed to remove Anglo settlers from Native American-owned lands prior to the Chickasaw cession of 1816, and was in operation between 1810 and 1817. This was a short-lived, but significant era in the history of Anglo and Native American habitation of northern Alabama:...

  • White Washing an African American Landscape: A Look at “Self-Deportation” Strategies in 19th Century Virginia (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stefan Woehlke.

    Following emancipation in Orange County, Virginia, a dramatic shift in demographics from a predominantly African American population to one dominated by White Americans began. Through a combination of political, legal, economic, and social pressures, the cultural landscape was shaped by diverse strategies aimed at the subjugation and removal of African Americans, paralleling many of the ‘self-deportation’ strategies used against immigrant communities today. The archaeological investigation of...

  • Worth(Less): Value and Destruction in a Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Quarry Town (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Adam Fracchia.

    The small industrial town of Texas, Maryland, employed hundreds of Irish immigrants in quarrying and burning limestone during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This paper examines patterns of value based on categories of class, ethnicity, and race that were influenced by and necessary to ensure the profitability of the quarry industry. Using historical records and material culture, it is possible to see shifts in these values over time and understand the marginalization of people that...