Archaeological Investigations of an Early American Farmstead: The Wiley Smith Site (31MG2098)

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kelsey A Schmitz (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: While farmsteads are relatively abundant in the historic and archaeological record , there are many issues with the current practices used to identify , evaluate , record , and study them. However , farmsteads represent a way of life that was once customary to much of the American population , and therefore deserve adequate archaeological attention. This thesis studied a late colonial/early federal period farmstead located in the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County , North Carolina , that was once owned by the sheriff of Montgomery County , Wiley Smith. This project utilized artifact analyses , historical documentation , and comparative analyses to test whether or not this farmstead operated as a truly subsistence-based unit , or whether the Smith household was instead a part of the ever-growing consumerist population of the early nineteenth century. High frequencies of decorated , mass-produced historic ceramics serve as indication that the Smith household had moved well-beyond a colloquial , subsistence lifestyle and was actively participating in the emerging consumerist and commercialist American that had begun to dominate American society. Finally , a comparative analysis of multiple historical homesteads/farmsteads within the Uwharrie National Forest identify five patterned traits. These traits relate to the landscape , geography and topography , and artifacts from farmsteads in this region , and provide the groundwork for additional , broader comparative research to establish a North Carolina Piedmont farmstead pattern.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Historical archaeology, homestead, archaeology

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