Sustenance & Style: A Holistic Interpretation of Archaeobotanicals & Artifacts in 19th Century Philadelphia

Author(s): Alexandra U. Crowder

Year: 2020


This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Archaeobotanical assemblages can provide a rich and varied perspective on how past communities interacted with plants, their surrounding environment, and each other. As with other artifact types, however, the interpretation of archaeobotanicals is inherently limited due to the specific depositional behaviors and environments necessary for the survival of botanical material. Oftentimes objects used for processing, storing, displaying, and consuming plant material survive archaeologically, even if the botanicals themselves do not. Similarly, the presence of certain plant remains can indicate activities and behaviors not otherwise reflected archaeologically. This paper examines ceramic and glass artifacts associated with households from the nineteenth century Port Richmond neighborhood in Philadelphia to explore how food- and plant-related objects can be complimentary datasets to archaeobotanical assemblages. Several objects with specific uses demonstrate how analyzing both datasets holistically can bolster interpretations of recovered archaeobotanical material, as well as illuminate plant-specific behaviors that are otherwise not represented botanically.

Cite this Record

Sustenance & Style: A Holistic Interpretation of Archaeobotanicals & Artifacts in 19th Century Philadelphia. Alexandra U. Crowder. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457287)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


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): 383