Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David B. Landon

Second Advisor

Christa M. Beranek

Third Advisor

Heather Trigg


Using data from recent archaeological excavations at Faneuil Hall in Boston, this thesis examines how an 18th-century urban landfill context can be used towards understanding the broader foodways of a city community. Much of today's urban landscape has been artificially created over time, often through the efforts of communities to fill land and dispose of their garbage, and it is important for archaeologists to utilize these contexts in meaningful ways. The Town Dock was gradually filled in with the daily trash of the merchants, shop-keepers, and other residents of the nearby community, and the faunal assemblage gives us a glimpse into the everyday foodways of that Boston community. Domestic mammal meat was the dietary staple, and was augmented by small quantities of domestic and wild birds, saltwater fish and shellfish.