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A Gizmo, A Swamp, Some Artifacts: Portable X-Ray Fluorescence as a Tool for Understanding a Landscape

Author(s): Becca Peixotto

Year: 2014

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Summary

Archaeological research over the last decade in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina has focused on disenfranchised Native Americans, maroons and enslaved canal company laborers ca. 1680-1860 who lived in these wetlands temporarily and long term. This paper explores how data gathered using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) of glass fragments and other very small artifacts could augment an analysis of this socially and physically complex landscape. Artifacts from canal adjacent and remote interior sites reflect the movement of material goods and people as well as the access maroon communities had to other communities in the Swamp and to the world beyond it. Technologies such as pXRF may be able to shed new light on these artifacts and relationships by providing details unavailable through more traditional forms of analysis.


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A Gizmo, A Swamp, Some Artifacts: Portable X-Ray Fluorescence as a Tool for Understanding a Landscape. Becca Peixotto. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436933)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-38,13

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