Department of Anthropology
ANYH 313, Historical Archaeology
Fall 2014, Anthropology Room 130, meets 9:35 - 10:50 AM TTR
Fall 2014 Tentative Course Schedule
Subject to revisions and refinements which will be posted on the on-line syllabus.
Use the on-line syllabus for the latest web links to the posted reading assignments.

Instructor: Donny L. Hamilton
Office: Room 102B, Anthropology Building
Phone: (979) 845-6355
Office Hours: 10AM - 2 PM Monday & Wednesday or by appointment

Class Information Internet Portal: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/
Class syllabus: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/313syl.htm

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Historical archaeology has been defined in a number of ways. Perhaps the simplest definition is the one that holds that "Historical archaeology is the study of the remains from any historic period." A historic period being any period in which the cultures in question have a documentary record and that writing has a full impact both on the culture being studied and in the scholarship of the investigation. As applied and defined in this course, historical archaeology is the study of European Cultures (generally Western European) and their spread into the New World and across the Globe from post-1500 to the recent past. However, the spread of Asian and African cultures into the New World are also included. In historical archaeology research, written documentation usually contribute as much to the research as the archaeological excavations and material culture. In fact, historical archaeology is an intimate marriage of archaeology and documents. A range of cultures, time periods and material culture are represented. The intent is present to the students in the class an overview of the subject through lectures, films, slides, covering a selection of historic sites that represent the types of research being conducted in historical archaeology. As much as possible, the subject of historical archaeology will be presented by using examples from on-going research. Accordingly, the Internet will be used extensively for topical examples to exemplify on-going archaeological research. If you do not have a personal computer, then you can access the web pages at the library computer center.

LEARNING OUTCOME: On completing this course students will have an understanding of how an archaeological excavation is organized, know the types of features and artifacts found in historic site excavations, be exposed to the documentary records used and how these data sources are melded together to formulated cultural interpreting and reconstructions.


            The 1554 Plate Fleet, Padre Island, (1554), Texas- Spanish

            Wolstenholme Towne, (1618-1622), Virginia - English
           Port Royal, Jamaica (1655-1692) sunken city - English
           The Belle- French (1686), Matagorda Bay, Texas - French
           Plimouth, Massachusetts, (1627) - English


            Historical Archaeology, Ivor Noël Hume

            A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America by Ivor Noël Hume

            In Small Things Forgotten, James Deetz


            Text Aided Archaeology ed. by Barbara J. Little.

Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800 by Jo Draper
Historical Archaeology: A Guide to Substantive and Theoretical Contributions, ed. by Robert L. Schuyler
Archaeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America ed. by Robert L. Schuyler
Historical Archaeology by Charles E. Orser, Jr. and Brian Fagan
Doing Historical Archaeology by Russell J. Barber

FILMS: (tentative)
Other People's Garbage
Search for a Century - Wolsteholm
1554 Plate Fleet
The Skeletons of Spitalefields - .


For the latest version of the course syllabus, see:



WEEK 1, Sept. 2, 4: Introduction and Basic Terms
Film: "Other People's Garbage" & Discussion

WEEK 2, Sept. 9, 11: Introduction and Basic Terms, cont'd

Reading: Noel-Hume Historical Archaeology (HA) Chpt I, Introduction

            Hume, HA, Chpt II, Thinking before Digging

            Hume, HA, Chpt III, People and Tools

            Noel-Hume Artifacts, Signposts to the Past

            Deetz, Chpt 1, Recalling things Forgotten: Archaeoology and the American Artifact

            Deetz, Chapt 2, The Anglo American Past


WEEK 3, Sept. 16, 18: Artifact Distribution Patterns and Pattern Recognition                     


Artifact Patterns Explained and critiqued

Brunswick Pattern of Refuse Disposal

The Carolina Artifact Pattern

The Frontier Artifact Pattern

The Kitchen Pattern


WEEK 4, Sept. 23, 25: Plimouth and Wolstenholm, two early 17th-Century English Sites

Film - Search for a Century & Discussion


Hume, HA, Chpt IV, Beginning to Dig

Hume, HA, Chpt VII, Keeping the Record and Presenting the Story

Nat. Geog. June 1979, Vol. 155, No. 6, pp. 735-767.
Nat. Geog. Jan. 1981, pp. 53-77.


Plimouth, Massachussetes: Archival Project

- Glossary of Terms
- Research Papers:
- Plimouth Probate Records:
- Selected Wills:
- Architectural Forms- Vernacular House Forms:

Deetz, Chpt. 5, pp. 92-117, I Would Have the Howse Stronge in Timber under architectural forma

WEEK 5, Sept 30, Oct. 2: Port Royal, Jamaica, A Late 17th-century English Site



Pirates and Merchants: Port Royal, Jamaica by Hamilton in X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy

Port Royal History/Excavations Web Page
Port Royal Excavation - PowerPoint

Architecture, Brick Buildings

Read Chpt V in Hume, HA and Bricks and Brickwork, pp. 80-84

How to reconstruct buildings from archaeological remains

Deetz, Chpt V, I would have the Howse Stronger in Timber

Deetz, Chpt VI, Small Things Remembered

WEEK 6, Oct. 7, 9: Documentary Records

Pre-excavation Fieldwork: Documents, Interviews, Buildings

Simon Benning, Pewterer of Port Royal,

Also see pp. 39-54, Text-Aided Archaeology, ed. Little.

"Following the Written Record Trail" and Genealogical Research - an example - The Ross-Hamilton Records:


Required Written Research Exercise to be turned in Thursday, Nov 21, 2014

Detailed instructions and expectations are here: Genealogical Research Exercise Instruction


Click on the links and download the pedigree chart and the family group record

The family group record is provided to add additional information on the entire family of each generation. A separate family group record is used for each generation.


Fill out the charts as well as you can, starting with yourself. Then go to one of the following web sites and conduct a search to see if you can find any connections to your family. Follow out any leads you find and print out if possible. You are more likely to find a connection the further back in your genealogy you can go such as your great grandparents or great great grandparents. If your family is from Texas or the South, the TAMU Evans Library has all the Texas and many of the southern states’ census records. This exercise is the basis of the type of genealogical research that is conducted when one excavates a historic site.

Ancestry.com -
FamilySearch.com - Church of Latter Day Saints -
Family Tree Maker -

WEEK 7, Oct. 14, 1: First Exam, Tuesday, Oct. 14

Oct. 9th: Historic Artifacts as Time Indicators, Horizon, and a discussion on the cultural significance of ceramics.

What do they tell us that we don't already know from historic records?



Hume, HA, Artifacts, all chpts on English Ceramics pp. 102-150.  

Deetz, Small Things, Chpt 3, All the Earthenware Plain and Flowered

Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800 by Jo Draper
Port Royal Project Ceramic Typology

Staffordshire Pottery Trade Marks

Port Royal Reports

Tin-glazed earthenware:
Chamber Pots:


Non-English Ceramics

Hume, Artifacts pp. 55-59, 276-284 Bellarmine/Rhenish

Hume, Artifacts, pp 257-264 Porcelain

Hume, Artifacts, pp 138- 145 European ceramics

Analytical Techniques, Ceramics and Pipes

Mean Ceramic Dating and Pipestem Dating


Evolution and Horizon as Revealed in Ceramic Analysis in Historical Archaeology.

Tobacco Pipes and Smoking Equipment in Hume, Artifacts

Dating Stem Fragments of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Cenurty Clay Tobacco Pipes

Class discussion, the cultural significance, setting, and customs of Smoking in society in the 17-18th-centuries

WEEK 8, Oct. 21, 23: Continue Ceramics, Pipes and other material culture

Tuesday - continue with ceramics



Dating Documents

Evolution of English Clay Tobacco Pipes

Parts of a Pipe

Thursday, Class tour of Conservation Research Laboratory Class will meet in Room 101, Anthropology Building.Artifacts from Port Royal, Jamaica will be laid out for students to identify and turn in the artifact identifiaction list.


WEEK 9, Oct. 28, 30: Texas Shipwrecks


Hume, Chpt VI: Sites: Manufacturing, Military and Marine

The 1554 Spanish Plate Fleet Shipwreck in the Wake of Columbus, by Barto Arnold

Slides/Film on the 1554 Fleet excavations in Texas
1554 PowerPoint Presentation

WEEK 10, Nov. 4, 6: Texas Shipwrecks

Thursday:  La Salle' Ships

La Belle PowerPoint Presentation (you will need to 'enable content' for the video to work)

Site of Ft. St. Louis.

Discovery of the Wreck

Explore the Shipwreck


Voyage of Doom, NOVA:

Explore the shipwreck, by Steve Hoyt:
Stories in the Timbers, by Toni Carrell:

Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M

Look at reports 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

WEEK 11, Nov. 11, 13: Mortuary Archaeology, Exam 2 Tuesday Nov. 11th

Special Analyses, Excavation of "holes"

Film: The Skeletons of Spitalfield.


Gravestone analysis

Death’s Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow

Deetz, Chpt 4, Remember me as you pass by.

Jamestown, Virginia Rediscovery Web Page - Jamestown skeleton

Jane's Story

Captain's Burial
Burial 1 - JR102C

1607 Burials


Other Skeletons

La Belle Skeleton
St Mary City, Lead Coffins

Port Royal Skeletons

WEEK 12, Nov. 18, 20: Ethnic Archaeology/Current Trends/Cultural Interpretations


Race and Class on Antebellum Plantations by John Otto
Archaeology Visibility of Afro-American Culture: An Example from Black Lucy's Garden, Andover, Massachusetts, by Vernon Baker

The above two articles are in Archaeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America by R. Schuyler 1980

Deetz, Chpt. 7, pp. 187-211, Parting Ways - also online

Deetz, Chpt 8, The African American Past

WEEK 13, Nov. 25, Nov. 27-28 Thanksgiving Holiday.

Make up exam Nov. 25, 2014.
Only students making up an examination need to attend class.

WEEK 14, Dec. 2, 4: Ethnic Archaeology/Current Trends/Cultural Interpretations


Richard Carter Site, College Station, TX.

Read Archeological and Historical Investigations at the Richard Carter Site, Brazos County, Texas by Shawn Carlson


Maps of the Carter Site


Levi Jordan Plantation: UNRAVELLING THE 1850 and 1860 SLAVE SCHEDULES, by Spencer McCall

The Beard House, Milano, TX.

Genealogy from the Perspective of an Historical Archaologist: Beard House, Milano, TX 1891-2014

WEEK 15, Dec. 9: The Future of Historical Archaeology in the 21st Century

Tuesday, December 9th is the last day of class

Final Exam Review

Complete any unfinished material and review



Noel-Hume, HA: Artifact, Treatment, Study, Storage , Chpt. VIII, pp. 257-292

Deetz, Chpt. 9, pp. 253-260, Small Things Forgotten

Examination Schedule (tentative)
1st exam, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014
2nd exam, Tuesday, Nov. 11th, 2014

Genealogy Exercise, Nov. 20-21, 2014
Make-up examination day, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Final Examination: Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, 12:30-2:30 PM

Course Grade Determination: Each student's grade will be based on his/her performance on two semester exams (25% each for a total of 50%), the genealogy exercise (15%), an artifact identification (10%), and a final exam (25%). Class attendance and active participation is expected. Reading assignments are to be completed before the topic is discussed in class. Excessive absences are recorded and normally more than 3, will result in the elimination of any curve or adjustment that may be given on any exam.

Any exam missed during the semester will be made up on November 20, 2014. Students wanting to retake an exam to improve may take one exam on the designated day. If an exam is retaken, that score will be used even if is lower than the exam taken previously.


Point Range -  Grade

90-100 - A,     80- 89 - B,     70- 79 - C      60- 69 - D,      Below 60 - F

Attendance Policy:

“The University views class attendance as the responsibility of an individual student. Attendance is essential to complete the course successfully. University rules related to excused and unexcused absences are located on-line at http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule07."

Plagiarism :
The handouts used in this course are copyrighted. By "handouts," I mean all materials generated for this class, which include but are not limited to syllabi, quizzes, exams, lab problems, in class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets. Because these materials are copyrighted, you do not have the right to copy the handouts, unless I expressly grant permission.
As commonly defined, plagiarism consists of passing off as one's own the ideas, words, writings, etc., which belong to another. In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you should have the permission of that person. Plagiarism is one of the worst academic sins, for the plagiarist destroys the trust among colleagues without which research cannot be safely

If you have any questions regarding plagiarism, please consult the latest issue of the Texas A&M University Student Rules, under the section "Scholastic Dishonesty


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