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Examining identity and personhood in the archaeological record: A case study from the Chief Richardville House (12AL1887)

Author(s): Elizabeth Spott

Year: 2014

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Summary

Anthropologists address identity and personhood in order to understand how people engage in social relations with one another. Identity is an amalgamation of personal characteristics; some inherent, some chosen and some imposed, that allow for inclusion or exclusion in various social arenas. In this paper, notions of identity and personhood are examined to test the utility of this theoretical framework to inform us about the pluralistic society of 18th and 19th century frontier life, and is applied to the archaeological record of northeastern Indiana. Specific examples from the Chief Richardville House (12AL1887) will be discussed in order to highlight the benefits of such an approach, as well as possible shortcomings. It is hoped that such a discussion will shed light on how Richardville actively constructed and maintained a fluid social identity to thrive in a potentially contentious and continually evolving cultural, social and economic setting.


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Examining identity and personhood in the archaeological record: A case study from the Chief Richardville House (12AL1887). Elizabeth Spott. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436759)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-19,09

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