Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David Landon

Second Advisor

Christa Beranek

Third Advisor

Stephen Silliman


This research furthers our understanding of colonial-Native relations by identifying and analyzing artifacts that indicate interaction between Native Americans and English settlers in Plymouth Colony archaeological collections. This project explores the nature of these interactions, exposing material culture's role in both social and economic exchanges. Selected 17th-century collections were excavated in modern Plymouth, Massachusetts, and nearby Marshfield and Kingston. My examination includes identifying materials exchanged between the Wampanoag and English settler groups in archaeological collections through scholarly literature and comparative 17th-century sites. This project draws on the documentary resources to provide contextualized insights on the relationships formed by and around these interactions. My aim is to extract the nature of exchange in the negotiation of complex colonial contexts through material culture. This research is intended to further decolonize our interpretations of the past, emphasizing the need for the reevaluation of old collections in search of previously silenced Native presence.