ANTH 313, Historical Archaeology
Fall Semester 2017
Instructor: Donny L. Hamilton
Office: Room 102B, Anthropology Building 11:10 AM-12:25 PM
Phone: (979) 845-6355
Office Hours: 9-11 AM Monday &Wednesday, or by appointment
Class Information Portal: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/
Class syllabus: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/313syl.pdf
Book Portal for DropBox Shared files:
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 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.
Course Objectives: This course is designed to introduce students to the archaeological study of
the recent past with an emphasis on the 16th -18th-century spread of western European culture to
the New World. The class will focus on key archaeological site to demonstrate different
excavations techniques, different material culture, different documents utilized to interpret the
Historical Archaeology, 2004, by Charles E. Orser, Jr
In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life, 1996, by James Deetz.
The 1554 Plate Fleet, Padre Island, Texas- Spanish ships
Port Royal, Jamaica (1655-1692) sunken city, English town
The Belle- French (1686), Matagorda Bay, Texas, French ship
1554 Plate Fleet, Padre Island, Texas, Spanish ships
Jamestown - Wolstenholm Virginia, 1607- ) English town
George Beard House, 1891-2015, stone house site, Milano, TX,
SELECTED ASSIGNED READINGS FROM:
Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800 by Jo Draper –book portal
A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America by Ivor Noel Hume
Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology, Stanley South
Archaeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America ed. by Robert L. Schuyler
Text Aided Archaeology ed. by Barbara J. Little.
RELEVANT ARCHAEOLOGY WEB PAGES
Nautical Archaeology --
Society for Historical Archaeology - www.sha.org
The Society for Post Medieval Archaeology - http://www.spma.org.uk/
Other People's Garbage
Search for a Century - Wolstenholm
Graveyard of the Gulf - 1554 Plate Fleet
City Under the Sea - Port Royal, Jamaica 1655-1691
The Skeletons of Spitalfields.
For the latest version of the course syllabus, see: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/ which has
the links to Internet reading assignments.
Week 1: Aug 29, 31: INTRODUCTION AND BASIC TERMS
Tuesday: Harvey Day
Thursday: Basic Introduction
Week 2: Sept. 5, 7: Locating and Analyzing Historic Sites Patterning Recognition
Tuesday, Film: "Other People's Garbage" & Discussion
Thursday:All read in Stanley South, 1976 or book portal
Chapter 2, Pattern Recognition
Chapter 8, Methodological Considerations, pp. 277-314
The Brunswick Pattern of Refuse Disposal pp. 47-80
The Carolina Artifact Pattern pp. 83-138
The Frontier Artifact Pattern, pp. 141-163
Exploring Analytical Techniques -
The Kitchen Artifact Pattern pp. 167-199
Week 3: Sept. 12, 14: Early 17th-Century English sites
Jamestown, Wolstenholm and Plimouth,
Thurs: Film - Search for a Century & Discussion
Nat. Geog. June 1979, Vol. 155, No. 6, pp. 735-767.- portal link
Nat. Geog. Jan. 1981, pp. 53-77. – portal link
Plimouth, Massachusetts: Archival Project
All the following links can be accessed through the following link:
Glossary of Terms
Plimouth Probate Records
Week 4: Sept. 19, 21: Port Royal, Jamaica
Port Royal, Jamaica, A Late 17th-century English Site
Architecture, Brick Buildings
Port Royal History/Excavations Web Page
Read: Hamilton, Archaeology, Jan./Feb. 1984, Vol. 37, No. 1 and Science Year 1986,
Port Royal Excavation – PowerPoint – portal link.
Deetz, Chpt. 5, pp. 92-117, I Would Have the Howse Stronge in Timber
also can be found at: http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/plymouth/house.html
Vernacular House Forms:
Week 5: Sept. 26, 28: Port Royal Continued
Simon Benning, Pewterer of Port Royal, pp. 39-54, Text-Aided Archaeology, ed. Little.
or on the Internet at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/portroyal/research.htm#SIMON
Port Royal Reports
Week 6: Oct.3, 5: Historic Ceramics
Deetz, Chpt. 3, All the Earthenware Plain and Flowered.-portal
Barber, Exercise 13, Typology
English Ceramic System and Foodways
Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800 by Jo Draper
Mean Ceramic Dating
South, 1978 Chpt 17, Evolution and Horizon as Revealed in Ceramic Analysis in
Historical Archaeology – portal link
Week 7: Oct. 10,12 Historical Artifacts
Archaeology of Tobacco and Smoking, Pipes, firearms and gunflints, pewter.
Kaolin pipes and pipestem dating- Harrington and portal link
Thurs Oct. 12 - Visit to CRL to view Port Royal Artifacts
Week 8: Oct 17, 18: Tuesday, First Examination,
Thurs: Documents and Genealogical Research
Simon Benning, Pewterer of Port Royal, pp. 39-54, Text-Aided Archaeology, ed. Little.
or on the Internet at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/portroyal/research.htm#SIMON Documents and
"Following the Written Record Trail" and Genealogical Research - an example - The Ross-
Genealogy Exercise to be turned no later than Thursday, Nov. 17, 2017
First off, ask your parents, grandparents and any relative who is said to know your family history. Then, fill out the charts as well as you can, starting with yourself. Then go to one Go to Evans Library or any of the on-line web sites and find one of your ancestors in the 1850-1940 US Census (the earlier the better) and print the page. Go to the Internet and download the pedigree chart at:
and the family group record at:
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 any of the names in your family.
Basic Genealogy Resources
Ancestry.com - http://www.ancestry.com/search/main.htm . You can go on line and get a free 15 or 30 day membership. JUST BE SURE TO CANCEL AFTER 30 DAYS OR IT WILL INCUR A CHARGE.
Genealogy.com is no longer active, but all the old files are still accessible.
FamilySearch.com - Church of Latter Day Saints - http://www.familysearch.org/ .
HeritageQuest.com – accessible free through Evans Library. Access to US censuses and lots of family histories, genealogy reports and publications.
Family Tree Maker - http://www.familytreemaker.com– to record your data.
Conduct a Google Search for "free genealogy software" to download a program to record your family records.
Follow out any leads you find and print out each lead. 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. Using the data on your chart and the US Census, find a minimum of four or more records such as a marriage record, death record, probate records, deed record on the same relative. Try to find one of your ancestors in a US Census, 1850 - 1940. If you cannot find any of your own ancestors, then use someone that is somehow related -- such as someone with the same surname in the same locality as your relatives. If necessary, use a historic figure as a last resort. Write a report on your search and findings. Point out any revelations or insights the research contributed to your understanding of your family and the relevance of genealogy to historic research. If you find any hits on your searches on the Internet, you can arrange with me to search the files of ancestry.com for material that is available in their databases which require membership. All the images of the US Censuses are available as well as many state and county records Also as a TAMU student you have access to Heritage Quest which has all the censuses and many family histories and historic documents as well. You can also get a 30 day free membership on Genealogy.com which will give you access to all the US Censuses and numerous other records.
The1940 US Census is the latest to be released. If your family is from Texas or the South, the TAMU Evans Library has all the census records for Texas and many of the southern states. Also, the Carnegie Library in Bryan has many of the census records. This exercise is intended to expose you to the basic documents used in genealogical research that is conducted when one excavates a historic site. This written Genealogy Exercise is based on at least four different documents you discuss the information they provided. The report is due no later than November 17, 2017 The report is due no later than November 17, 2017 and must include copies of each document or source you include, as well as the pedigree chart, and the family group form.
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.
Consider this exercise as a way of finding out things about your family that you
never knew. Ancestry.com is a good starting point.
If you cannot find any records on any line of your family, you can select anyone, your room
mate=s family, some famous person and that will be OK. This is an exercise on historic
records; so as long as you finds three different records on the same individual, or family
members, that will suffice. Normally, censuses, wills, inventories, marriage certificates,
death certificates, tombstones, bibles, deeds, military records, pension records, social security, photographs, “Find a Grave” search, etc. are the most common records.
Week 9, Oct. 24, 26:
Texas Shipwrecks The 1554 Spanish Plate Fleet
Read; Shipwreck in the Wake of Columbus, Section IV, pp. 102-111 by Barto Arnold,
in Archaeology Underwater, ed. Keith Muckelroy.
Doris Olds, Texas Legacy from the Gulf – book portal
Slides/Film on the 1554 Fleet excavations in Texas
1554 PowerPoint Presentation link through portal
Week 10: Oct. 31, Nov. 2: La Salle' Ships,
Thurs.: Film, La Belle 1684-1686 - Voyage of Doom, NOVA – book portal
Bullock State Historical Museum, Austin, TX – La Belle Exhibit
Explore the shipwreck, by Steve Hoyt:
Stories in the Timbers, by Toni Carrell:
Who Owns shipwrecks:
Look at reports 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.
Fort St. Louis:
WEEK 11: Nov. 7, 9: Special Analyses, Excavation of "holes"
Privies, Cisterns, Wells, Graves: Skeletal material
Tues: Film: The Skeletons of Spitalfield.
Class tour of Conservation Laboratory. Class will meet in Room 101, Anthropology Building. Artifacts from Port Royal, Jamaica and other sites will be laid out for students to identify and turn in an artifact identification list.
Deetz Chpt. 4, Remember Me as you Pass By
Jamestown, Virginia Rediscovery Web Page - Jamestown skeleton
La Belle Skeleton
St Mary City, Lead Coffins
WEEK 12: Nov. 14, 16: Tuesday, Second Examination
Ethnic Archaeology- Current Trends
Deetz, Chpt. 7, Parting Ways, pp. 138-154
Read: Race and Class on Antebellum Plantations by John Otto, Chpt. 1, pp. 3-13.
Archaeology Visibility of Afro-American Culture: An Example from Black Lucy's
Garden, Andover, Massachusetts, Chpt. 3, pp. 29-37.
Above two articles are in Archaeological Perspectives on Ethnicity in America.
Deetz, Chpt. 7, pp. 138-154 , Parting Ways
Levi Jordan Plantation: UNRAVELING THE 1850 and 1860 SLAVE SCHEDULES, by
Spencer McCall" http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/slavschd.htm
WEEK 13, Nov. 21, Thursday, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Holiday:
Tues.: Make-up Exams
Only students making up an examination need to attend class.
Thurs. Nov. 23, 2017, Thanksgiving Holiday
WEEK 14, Nov. 28, 30:
Thurs.: 19th-Century Archaeology - George W. Beard House, Milano, TX
PowerPoint through portal
Richard Carter Site, College Station, TX Brazos County Texas
WEEK 15, Dec. 5: Tuesday, Last Day of Class.
Examination Schedule (tentative)
1st exam, Tuesday, Oct. 17 ,2017
2nd exam, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Genealogy Exercise, due by Nov 17, 2017 or anytime sooner.
Make-up examination day, Wednesday, November 21, 2017
Final Examination: Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, 3:00-5:00 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%), (20% for the genealogy exercise,
and (10% from single question exams given weekly over assigned readings.
The highest 10 exams will be averaged for 10% of the final grade, and a final exam (20%).
Bonus 10% for selecting one of the cursive, handwritten inventories (PDF scan) from Port Royal (1700s) and transcribe it. Then write a short report on what information you derived from it that would be useful if you happened to be excavation the property of the individual. Turn in a copy of the inventory, your transcription, and your report.
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