This week we have topically diverse readings that focus on the late eighteenth century through the mid nineteenth century. Choose at least two of the readings to discuss, which can be about the same topic or comparative.
Archaeologists at Monticello have investigated the home of Thomas Jefferson, as well as the the enslaved quarter. What ideas do the researchers suggest the landscape and plantation layout convey, and how may we critically consider this aspect of America’s heritage spaces? What perceptions do the researchers reject, based on the archaeology of the foodways of the enslaved? Maroon societies comprise another aspect of the enslaved-to-freedom experience in America. Are the archaeologies of these conflicted and complicated spaces adequately shared and understood by contemporary society? What did you find new or unexpected from this week’s readings?
The CSS Hunley sank in the Charleston Harbor nearly 150 years ago. Archaeologists have recovered the vessel and the remains of its crew. What questions have researchers answered about the Hunley and what surprising stories have emerged from this example of our “buried past”? The Hunley was submerged underwater and thus required what sorts of differing methodologies to excavate? In what ways have interdisciplinary approaches contributed to our understanding of the Hunley and its crew?
Excavations of the Catawba Indian Reservation reveal a narrative of culture change for America’s indigenous peoples. Based on the artifactual record, what forms of material culture were present at Catawba during the late 18th and early 19th centuries? What explanations can we give for the transformation of Catawba culture, and how might we link this process to our own lives? For instance, consider global commodity chains and consumption.