Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Heather B. Trigg

Second Advisor

Ross K. Harper

Third Advisor

Christa M. Beranek


In 2013, Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc. conducted an extensive data recovery program in Marshfield, Massachusetts at the ca. 1638 Waterman House Site. Located in one of the earliest satellite communities established after the founding of Plymouth Colony, this site offers a detailed view into the daily life of a yeoman family during this critical and poorly understood first period of settlement. The burning of the house in the mid-1640s created a level of preservation which allowed for the recovery of a wide diversity of wild and cultivated fruit, nut, herb, vegetable, and grain remains. By analyzing the taxa identified at the Waterman House Site through the lens of contemporary English botanical knowledge and historical accounts of Indigenous-English cultural encounters, current interpretive frameworks utilized in studies of English colonization of the New World are challenged. Highlighted throughout this research is the flexibility exercised by colonists as they blended Indigenous plants into English cuisine, and exploited Old World taxa alongside New World plants associated with intrageneric Old World species. This thesis illustrates the multi-directional effects of colonization on English foodways, and provides evidence of Puritan colonists transitioning into what would become the New England “Yankee” cultural identity of later generations.


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