A Creole Synthesis: An Archaeology of the Mixed Heritage Silas Tobias Site in Setauket, New York

Author(s): Christopher N. Matthews

Year: 2018

Summary

Research on the Silas Tobias site in Setauket, New York has identified a small 19th century homestead with a well-preserved and stratified archaeological context. Documentation of the site establishes that the site was occupied from at least 1823 until about 1900. Based on documentary evidence, the Tobias family is considered African American, though the mixed Native American and African American heritage of the descendant community is also well-known. Excavations in 2015 exposed both architectural- and midden-associated deposits that shed light on daily life of the Tobias household, which suggests the preservation of Native American cultural practices both in technology and foodways. In essence, the site presents excellent evidence of the mixing of cultural traditions, a process interpreted in this paper as a sign of both political agency as well as a period of greater tolerance for racial difference associated with the end of slavery in New York.

Cite this Record

A Creole Synthesis: An Archaeology of the Mixed Heritage Silas Tobias Site in Setauket, New York. Christopher N. Matthews. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441760)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 167