Anthropology 313
Fall 2013 Syllabus

Instructor: Donny L. Hamilton
Office: Room 102B, Anthropology Building
Phone: (979) 845-6355
E-mail: dlhamilton@tamu.edu
Office Hours: 10AM - 12 PM Tuesday & Thursday, or by appointment

Class Information: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/
Class syllabus: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/2012files/313syllabus.pdf


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 Obectives: This course is designed to introduce students to the archaeological study of the recent past with an emphasis on the 16th - 17th-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 archaeological data.


Historical Archaeology, 2004, by Charles E. Orser, Jr

In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life, 1996, by James Deetz.
Doing Historical Archaeology: Exercises Using Documentary, Oral, and Material Evidence
, 1994, by Russell J. Barber

Key Sites:

The 1554 Plate Fleet, Padre Island, Texas- Spanish
Port Royal, Jamaica (1655-1692) sunken city, English
The Belle- French (1686), Matagorda Bay, Texas, French
Jamestown - Wolstenholm Virginia, 1607- ) English

Richard Carter Site


Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800 by Jo Draper
A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America by Ivor Noel Hume
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
Text Aided Archaeology ed. by Barbara J. Little.


Nautical Archaeology -- http://nautarch.tamu.edu

ARCHNET(lots of links & subject areas, historical archaeology being one

Historical Archaeology Section of ARCHNET:

Society for Historical Archaeology


The Society for Post Medieval Archaeology



FILMS: (tentative)

            Other People's Garbage

            Jamestown Rediscovered

            Search for a Century - Wolsteholm

            Graveyard of the Gulf - 1554 Plate Fleet

            City Under the Sea - Port Royal, Jamaica 1655-1691–

            The Skeletons of Spittlefield.

            Digging up Slaves

            Family Tree DNA

For the latest version of the course syllabus, see:
http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/ which has the links to Internet reading assignments.

Film: "Other People's Garbage" & Discussion

Deetz, Chapter 1, Recalling Things Forgotten.

            Chapter 2, The Anglo-American Past,

Week 2, Sept. 2, 4:

Orser: Chpt. 1, What Is Historical Archaeology?
Orser: Chpt. 2, A Brief History of Historical Archaeology
Orser: Chpt. 3 Historical Culture and Historical Sites:

Week 3, Sept. 9, 11:

Orser: Chpt. 4, Historical Artifacts

Deetz, Chpt. 3, All the Earthenware Plain and Flowered.
Barber, Exercise 13, Typology
English Ceramic System and Foodways
Post-Medieval Pottery 1650-1800
by Jo Draper
Tin-glazed earthenware:

Chamber Pots:




Week 4, Sept. 16, 18: cont. Historical Artifacts
Smoking, Pipes, firearms and gunflints, pewter.

Simon Benning, Pewterer of Port Royal, pp. 39-54, Text-Aided Archaeology, ed. Little.
or on the Internet at:

Week 5, Sept. 23, 25:

Orser: Chpt. 5, Time and Space
Barber: Exercise 9, Stratigraphy
Barber: Exercise 15, Mean Ceramic Dating
Barber: Exercise 14, Pipestem Dating
Other artifacts and Conservation

Week 6, Sept. 30, Oct. 2:

Orser: Chpt. 6: Historical Site Survey and Location

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

Jamestown, Wolstenholm and Plimouth, early 17th-Century English sites
Film - Search for a Century & Discussion
Nat. Geog. June 1979, Vol. 155, No. 6, pp. 735-767.
Nat. Geog. Jan. 1981, pp. 53-77.
Plimouth, Massachussetes: Archival Project


All the following can be accessed through the index above.

Glossary of Terms
Seminar Reports:
Plimouth Probate Records:
Selected Wills:

Vernacular House Forms:
I Would Have the Howse Stronge in Timber
Material Culture of Plimouth
Sexual Misconduct


Test Review Articles:

New Clues to an Old Mystery by Ivor Noel Hume

First Look at a Lost Virginia Settlement by Ivor Noel Hume

WEEK 7, Oct. 7, 9: First Exam, Monday, Oct. 7.

Genealogy Exercise due Friday, Oct. 11, 2013.
Orser: Chpt. 7 Pre-excavation Fieldwork: Documents, Interviews, Buildings
Barber: Exercise 4, Probate Inventories and Acculturation
Barber: Exercise 5, Integrating Documents and Archaeological Data
Barber: Exercise 8, Social Analysis of Architecture
Simon Benning, Pewterer of Port Royal, pp. 39-54, Text-Aided Archaeology, ed. Little.
or on the Internet at:

"Following the Written Record Trail" and Genealogical Research - an example - The Ross-Hamilton Records:
Exercise to be turned in Thursday, Oct. 12, 2000

Go to the Internet and download the pedigree chart at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/313/genealogy/pedchart.htm
and the family group record at:
The family group record is provided to add additonal 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 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 8, Oct. 14, 16: Port Royal, Jamaica, A Late 17th-century English Site
Port Royal History/Excavations Web Page

Read: Hamilton, Archaeology, Jan./Feb. 1984, Vol. 37, No. 1 and Science Year 1986,
Port Royal Excavation - PowerPoint
Architecture, Brick Buildings

Week 9, Oct. 21, 23:

Orser: Chpt 8, Archaeological Fieldwork: Field and Laboratory
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.
Slides/Film on the 1554 Fleet excavations in Texas
1554 PowerPoint Presentation

Week 10, Oct.28, 30: Texas Shipwrecks, La Salle' Ships
The Belle and the L'Aimable, 1784-86
chronology of events, Who was La Salle, King Louis XIV, Le Comte de Vermandois,
Naval artillery, flags, Site of Ft. St. Louis.
FILM - Voyage of Doom, NOVA:
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:


Thursday, Class tour of Conservation Research Laboratory
in Room 101, Anthropology Building.
Artifacts from Port Royal, Jamaica, La Belle and other sites.

WEEK 11, Nov. 4, 6: Special Analyses, Excavation of "holes"
Privies, Cisterns, Wells, Graves: Skeletal material

Orser: Chpt 9, Exploring the Historical Past
Deetz Chapter 4, Remember Me as you Pass By
Film: The Skeletons of Spittlefield.
Jamestown, Virginia Rediscovery Web Page - Jamestown skeleton
La Belle Skelteton
St Mary City, Lead Coffins

WEEK 12, Nov. 11, 13:

Orser: Chpt. 10, The Archaeology of Groups.
Second Examination, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2013

Genealogy Paper due by Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

Deetz, Chapter 7, Parting Ways, pp. 138-154

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

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


WEEK 13, Nov. 18, 20: Cont. Ethnic/Groups Archaeology

WEEK 14, Nov. 25, 27:

Orser: Chpt. 11, Historical Archaeology Around the World
19th-Century Archaeology

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2000, Thanksgiving Holiday
Gender Archaeology, Assignment pending.
19th-Century Archaeology - Richard Carter Site, Brazos County Texas

Make up exam Nov. 30, 2000.
Only students making up an examination need to attend class.

WEEK 15, Dec. 5: Tuesday, Last Day of Class.

Orser: Chpt. 12, The Past in the Present.
Deetz, Chpt. 8, pp. 156-161, Small Things Forgotten

Examination Schedule (tentative)
1st exam, Monday, Oct. 7 ,2013
2nd exam, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013

Genealogy Exercise, Nov 15, 2013
Make-up examination day, Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Final Examination: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 3-5:00 PM

Course Grade Determination: Each student's grade will be based on his/her performance on two semester exams (30% each for a total of 60%), the genealogy exercise (10%) and a final exam (30%). Class attendance and active participation is expected. Reading assignments are to be completed before the topic is discussed in class. Excessive absences, normally more than 3, will result in the elimination of any curve or adjustment that may be given on any exam.

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 communicated.
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."

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Office of Support Services for Students with Disabilities in Room 126 of the Student Services Building. The phone number is 845-1637.