Set in Stone: Recontextualizing the Lithic Assemblage of a Seventeenth-Century Storage Cellar in Charlestown, Massachusetts
Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
Master of Arts (MA)
David B. Landon
Stephen W. Silliman
Heather B. Trigg
Feature 43 is a domestic structure that belonged to the wealthy seventeenth-century merchant community of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and was excavated in the early 1980s as part of the Maudlin Archaeological District. The extant collection has remained in storage for the last thirty years, demanding a recontextualization of the site, both in provenience and in historical context. Primary sources portray an image of a predominantly European settler household; however, a counter-narrative emerges from lithics found within the assemblage. While the ultimate goal is to analyze the patterns of lithic sourcing and production in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the findings hinge on the reconstruction of the site’s archaeological context. Initial archaeological interpretations did not focus on the locally-sourced lithics found within the assemblage as their provenience, like most of the collection, remains subject to debate. Through a series of distribution analyses, the ambiguity of the lithic assemblage is clarified, and its site provenience is reestablished. Upon establishing context, this project employs a lithic analysis in order to reexamine early colonial interactions between European settlers and Native Americans and to evaluate the nature of the material relationship between the two communities as manifested in colonial assemblages.
Greco, Anna M., "Set in Stone: Recontextualizing the Lithic Assemblage of a Seventeenth-Century Storage Cellar in Charlestown, Massachusetts" (2019). Graduate Masters Theses. 548.
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