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Power in Numbers: the Anthropological Implications of Horse Shoe Nails on Blacksmith Sites

Author(s): Miranda Brunton

Year: 2014

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Summary

During the nineteenth century, almost all general smiths also acted as farriers. Horse shoe nails offer the best evidence that the smiths practiced shoeing on site. However, the remnants of these nails can function as more than indicators of shoeing practices but also aid in both understanding the intensity of shoeing practices and in pinpointing features. For example, horse shoe nails recovered from Kilmanagh Crossroads site excavated by Archaeological Services Inc. in 2009, not only represented shoeing activities but the sheer quantity indicated the intensity of the practice and the nails distribution throughout the site pointed to the entrance of the blacksmith’s shop once stood, which was not known at the time of the excavation. This paper will explore the untapped anthropological potential of horse shoe nails by comparing and contrasting collections of horse shoe nails recovered from blacksmith shops from urban and rural contexts throughout southern Ontario.


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Power in Numbers: the Anthropological Implications of Horse Shoe Nails on Blacksmith Sites. Miranda Brunton. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436701)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-13,13

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