In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life

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History is recorded in many ways. According to  author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully  by studying the small things so often forgotten.  Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical  instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the  cracks between large historical events and depict  the intricacies of daily life. In his completely  revised and expanded edition of In Small  Things Forgotten, Deetz has added new  sections that more fully acknowledge the presence  of women and African Americans in Colonial  America. New interpretations of archaeological finds  detail how minorities influenced and were affected  by the development of the Anglo-American tradition  in the years following the settlers' arrival in  Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Among Deetz's  observations:
Subtle changes in building long before the  Revolutionary War hinted at the growing independence  of the American colonies and their desire to be  less like the  British.



Records of estate auctions show that many  households in Colonial America contained only one  chair--underscoring the patriarchal nature of the  early American family. All other members of the  household sat on stools or the  floor.



The excavation of a tiny community of  freed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence of  the transplantation of African culture to North  America.

Simultaneously  a study of American life and an explanation of  how American life is studied, In Small  Things Forgotten, through the everyday  details of ordinary living, colorfully depicts a  world hundreds of years in the past.
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About the author

James Deetz died in November 2000. Patricia Scott Deetz is a cultural historian with an MA in history from Rhodes University, South Africa. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Anchor
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Published on
Jul 7, 2010
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780307874382
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
Social Science / Archaeology
Social Science / Human Geography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Archaeology of Martin's Hundred explores the history and artifacts of a 20,000-acre tract of land in Tidewater, Virginia, one of the most extensive English enterprises in the New World. Settled in 1618, all signs of its early occupation soon disappeared, leaving no trace above ground. More than three centuries later, archaeological explorations uncovered tantalizing evidence of the people who had lived, worked, and died there in the seventeenth century.

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Part II: Artifact Catalog illustrates and describes the principal artifacts in 110 figures. The objects, divided by category and by site, range from ceramics, which were the most readily and reliably datable, to glass, of which there was little, to metalwork, in all its varied aspects from arms and armor to rail splitters' wedges, and, finally, to tobacco pipes.

The Archaeology of Martin's Hundred is a fascinating account of the ways archaeological fieldwork, laboratory examination, and analysis based on lifelong study of documentary and artifact research came together to increase our knowledge of early colonial history.

Copublished with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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Unpersuaded by the common assumption that James Fort had long ago been washed away by the James River, William Kelso and his collaborators estimated the likely site for the fort and began to unearth its extensive remains, including palisade walls, bulwarks, interior buildings, a well, a warehouse, and several pits. By Jamestown’s quadricentennial over 2 million objects were cataloged, more than half dating to the time of Queen Elizabeth and King James.

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Refuting the now decades-old stereotype that attributed the high mortality rate of the Jamestown settlers to their laziness and ineptitude, Jamestown, the Truth Revealed produces a vivid picture of the settlement that is far more complex, incorporating the most recent archaeology and using twenty-first-century technology to give Jamestown its rightful place in history, thereby contributing to a broader understanding of the transatlantic world.

Their task was to locate a lost grave in an obliterated church. The ‘Looking For Richard’ team of historians and researchers spent many years amassing evidence. Now for the first time they reveal the full story of how that evidence took them to a car park in Leicester. Reports of the dig and DNA fingerprinting were shown world-wide and won awards. But the years of prior detective work have never before been recognised. Latin texts, mediaeval priories, old maps, long-lost memorials, misleading tales of grave desecration ... not a Dan Brown novel, but a sober account of how painstaking studies of historical records achieved the goal of finding Richard III. Informed by Dr John Ashdown-Hill’s sound knowledge of the Franciscans (Greyfriars) and their architecture, together with his discovery of Richard III’s mtDNA, the LOOKING FOR RICHARD PROJECT launched by Philippa Langley rested on solid foundations. It rested equally on her own exhaustive research into the Greyfriars site, and her indomitable determination to see it through. Other members made up a team that until now kept a low profile, combining to facilitate, raise the money (the search cost some £40,000), and cultivate an ethos that laid emphasis on respect for a king who fell defending crown and country. Historian Dr David Johnson and his artist wife, Wendy Johnson, proposed a tomb design that won approval from the Richard III Society, whose members overwhelmingly financed the search. Edited with the sure touch of writer and author Annette Carson, this publication reveals how scholarship and research into 500 years of history underpinned an enterprise of which the world saw only the triumphant end result.
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"Astonishing . . . A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past." --The New York Times

When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.”

The Dutch colony pre-dated the “original” thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
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