Date of Award

8-1-2013

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman

Second Advisor

Heather B. Trigg

Third Advisor

Christa M. Beranek

Abstract

The Eastern Pequot's restriction to the Lantern Hill reservation in 1683, and their wider engagements with the settler world and its economy, inevitably led to changes in how the Pequot structured their settlements and utilized the landscape. The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation's (EPTN) reservation in North Stonington is a complex space representing the subjugation, resistance, and cultural continuity of the Eastern Pequot people. Superficially, by the nineteenth century, the Eastern Pequot appear to have adopted technologies and cultural constituents traditionally classified as Euro-American. The organization and use of extramural spaces at Eastern Pequot sites, however, demonstrates the persistence of both Pequot cultural practices and the broader EPTN reservation community.

This thesis examines the results of a shovel test pit survey, conducted in an area containing multiple surface features including the remnants of a large nineteenth-century European-style framed house. The ceramic assemblage was subjected to a kernel density analysis performed using a Geographic Information System platform. The results of the kernel analysis were then situated within a framework of previous research at the Eastern Pequot reservation. The diachronic examination of sites at the EPTN reservation, which date within 100 years of this nineteenth-century site, revealed subtle patterns of continuity, change, and spatial organization. Furthermore, the application of this technique demonstrates the potential of a coarse dataset to contribute to the ongoing development of a historical narrative at the reservation.

Despite the adoption of European material culture and architecture, the spatial patterning of EPTN reservation domestic sites from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries contains elements which speak to being Eastern Pequot. Trajectories of cultural continuity persisted through the organization of extramural spaces despite external colonial forces. Archaeologically, it is evident that individuals continued to structure their daily lives, practices, and uses of space in ways which reinforce their identities and community as Eastern Pequot.

Comments

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