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A Trail of Tools: An Analysis Exploring the Procurement, Use, and Repair of Agricultural Tools at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Author(s): Lily E Carhart

Year: 2017

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Summary

During his lifetime, George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate spanned 8,000 acres and encompassed five separate farms, four of which were used for large-scale cultivation of field crops. The exception was Mansion House Farm, where the only cultivation consisted of kitchen gardens, vineyards, and some agricultural experimentation. Yet a substantial number of iron agricultural tools have been found archaeologically. This study addresses the anomaly by focusing specifically on the agricultural hoes as a representational sample of the wider collection of agricultural tools. A comprehensive typological analysis of hoes is carried out to identify forms and specializations, manufacturing methods and origins. These findings are considered alongside Washington’s purchasing records and invoices. Ultimately, this investigation seeks to explain the existence of the agricultural tools at Manor House Farm and to suggest the factors influencing the movement, use, and reuse of iron agricultural tools across the five farms and how they developed over time. 


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A Trail of Tools: An Analysis Exploring the Procurement, Use, and Repair of Agricultural Tools at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Lily E Carhart. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435534)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
18th Century


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 684

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