Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David Landon

Second Advisor

Stephen Mrozowski

Third Advisor

Michael Jarvis


This thesis is an examination of the Smallpox Bay ruin located on Smith’s Island, Bermuda. The site is named after a location marked on an 1812 survey map where a structure is sketched in at the approximate location of the ruin. Excavations of the site took place in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 by University of Rochester as part of the Smith’s Island Bermuda Field School. An assemblage of regimental buttons have tied the site to several regiments which all had yellow fever epidemics. This thesis focuses on the 20th Regiment soldiers who were present in Bermuda between 1841 to 1847. The military presence on this site serves as a means to explore encampment, understandings of disease and health, and the lives of the families of the soldiers. While the epidemics faced by soldiers at the time were significant they have largely been forgotten in public memory, demonstrating how unsavory events can be buried while remarkable ones selectively celebrated. Archaeological investigation of military sites beyond fort architecture and battlefields is an expanding pursuit and this thesis serves to give a Bermudian perspective on the issue.


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