A Military Site Case Study of Agency and Practice

Author(s): Robert Clouse

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Military Sites" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The military is a hierarchically organized social network defined by rules and regulations, but it is through agency and practice that its structure is actuated. Despite expectations of conformity and uniformity of actions, significant variability in agency occurs.

Agents in a military context possessed shared practice, evident in martial drills, use of weapons, and general lifeways. Maneuvers and various daily activities were mastered through repetition as practice. Evidence for individual and collective agency is visible in historic and archaeological evidence.

Ft. Snelling, Minnesota’s layout was habituated by a structure of military hierarchy organizing living quarters even before its final defensive design. A collective tempo of ritual was part of daily life that reduced social experience to corporate predictability, while the landscape of military structures served as a mosaic of categories bounding and defining agency and practice. Through such perspectives we can visualize the lives of ordinary soldiers.

Cite this Record

A Military Site Case Study of Agency and Practice. Robert Clouse. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449081)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Agency Military practice

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
19th century Euroamerican

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): 211