Examining History and Material Practice at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Author(s): Sean (1,2) Devlin

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Before, After, and In Between: Archaeological Approaches to Places (through/in) Time" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Historical archaeologists’ recent turn towards the consideration of temporality speaks directly to an interest in critically reflecting on the immanence of narrative historical events for daily practices within specific households or communities. George Washington’s Mount Vernon provides a particularly relevant case study for such analysis. Most famously the plantation is known for its intimate connection to one of the key agents in the historical narrative of the American transition from colony to early republic. Against this narrative backdrop of historical events, however, the continual operation of the plantation was rooted in the daily practices and laborers of a community of freed and enslaved laborers. Developing evidence from both contemporary and legacy excavations on the property, this paper explores the tension between the historical narrative and material consequences, whether they be continuity or change, in daily practice rooted in the community at Mount Vernon.

Cite this Record

Examining History and Material Practice at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Sean (1,2) Devlin. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456842)


Geographic Keywords
United States of America

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): 783