One Site, Multiple Histories: A Study of the Numerous Phases of Habitations at Fort Caswell

Author(s): Sophie Minor; Nick Kardulias

Year: 2017


This study explores the archaeology of tourism through an examination of the multiple habitations of Fort Caswell, situated on the southwest coast of North Carolina. The brick fortification was built in the 1830s. Subsequently, it served as a U.S. Army installation from 1861 to 1945. The site has undergone extensive reconstruction due to its strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, changes in function and ownership, and damages due to severe weather and war-related activities. The Baptist Assembly of North Carolina purchased the fort and its surrounding buildings in 1949, and since then has used the property as a retreat center and camp. Systematic excavation of the site since the early 2000s has produced a large assemblage of artifacts. The material retrieved during work at the fort includes items of very recent vintage. I discuss the importance of including artifacts form modern occupations in the consideration of the history of the site. Additionally, I consider the implications of excavations in which artifacts from recent habitation levels are regarded as trash and discuss how this behavior can dramatically change one’s perception of an archaeological site.

Cite this Record

One Site, Multiple Histories: A Study of the Numerous Phases of Habitations at Fort Caswell. Sophie Minor, Nick Kardulias. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429507)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16193