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Material Culture And The Archaeology of Western Identities

Author(s): Mark Warner

Year: 2015

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While the popular perception of the American west is one of material hardship and deprivation, the reality of life in the west was frequently quite different.  Excavations at several locations in Idaho have indentified a material world where people were enthusiastically striving for Victorian ideals of gentility. In one sense this is to be expected as aspirational consumption in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was clearly an integral part of American society as a whole.  However, there was also a qualitative difference to the acquisition of goods in the west, with perceptions of gentility taking on additional symbolic meanings amongst western settlers.  This work explores why seemingly mundane objects were disproportionately important in many western households.

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Material Culture And The Archaeology of Western Identities. Mark Warner. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433721)


Temporal Keywords
late 19th centurey

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 509

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America