Part I: Interpretive Studies addresses four critical questions, each with complex and sometimes unsatisfactory answers: Who was Martin? What was a hundred? When did it begin and end? Where was it located? We then see how scientific detective work resulted in a reconstruction of what daily life must have been like in the strange and dangerous new land of colonial Virginia. The authors use first-person accounts, documents of all sorts, and the treasure trove of artifacts carefully unearthed from the soil of Martin's Hundred.
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.
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.
Kelso’s work has continued with recent excavations of numerous additional buildings, including the settlement’s first church, which served as the burial place of four Jamestown leaders, the governor’s rowhouse during the term of Samuel Argall, and substantial dump sites, which are troves for archaeologists. He also recounts how researchers confirmed the practice of survival cannibalism in the colony following the recovery from an abandoned cellar bakery of the cleaver-scarred remains of a young English girl. CT scanning and computer graphics have even allowed researchers to put a face on this victim of the brutal winter of 1609–10, a period that has come to be known as the "starving time."
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.
With engaging chapters, such as ‘How Not to Write a PhD Thesis on Neolithic Italy’ and ‘Accidentally Digging Central America's Earliest Village’, readers are transported to the desks, digs, and data-labs of the authors, learning the skills, tricks of the trade, and potential pit-falls of archaeological fieldwork and collections research. Case studies collectively span many regions, time periods, issues, methods, and materials. From the pre-Columbian Andes to Viking Age Iceland, North America to the Middle East, Medieval Ireland to remote north Australia, and Europe to Africa and India, Engaging Archaeology is packed with rich, first-hand source material.
Unique and thoughtful, Stephen W. Silliman’s guide is an essential course book for early-stage researchers, advanced undergraduates, and new graduate students, as well as those teaching and mentoring. It will also be insightful and enjoyable reading for veteran archaeologists.
Changes in the Land offers an original and persuasive interpretation of the changing circumstances in New England's plant and animal communities that occurred with the shift from Indian to European dominance. With the tools of both historian and ecologist, Cronon constructs an interdisciplinary analysis of how the land and the people influenced one another, and how that complex web of relationships shaped New England's communities.