"What’s This Doing There": Archaeological Evidence of the St. Louis Barter Economy

Author(s): Michael J. Meyer

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "From Iliniwek to Ste Genevieve: Early Commerce along the Mississippi" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Beginning in 2013, excavations conducted by the Missouri Department of Transportation have identified buildings associated with six different properties dating to the late 1700s, but it is the latest finds that have generated the greatest interest. Excavations conducted in the winter and spring of 2017 revealed the footprint of a poteaux-en-terre house and cellar constructed and occupied by Pierre Berger from 1766 to 1778. Possibly due to poor construction, the house was demolished and a new house (occupied by Jean-Baptiste Marli and family) was constructed. Berger’s not-completely-filled cellar became a large trash pit for both Marli’s blacksmith shop and his household. It is in this mix of domestic, commercial, and industrial refuse that we find hints as to how commerce was conducted—at least as it applies to a common blacksmith—in St. Louis during the final decades of the eighteenth century.

Cite this Record

"What’s This Doing There": Archaeological Evidence of the St. Louis Barter Economy. Michael J. Meyer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449016)


Temporal Keywords
18th 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): 197