Beyond the Walls: New Perspectives on the Archaeology of Historical Households

“Thought-provoking and engaging, Beyond the Walls provides new and relevant theoretical perspectives and specific case studies for archaeologists conducting research related to household archaeology. Essential for both students and professionals.”—Mark D. Groover, author of The Archaeology of North American Farmsteads

“From ranching stations in Hawai’i to slave quarters in South Carolina, the essays in Beyond the Walls crosscut time and space to consider the interrelationships between households and the wider regional and global networks in which their residents were enmeshed, presenting new insights relating to identity, consumerism, and modernity.”—Barbara J. Heath, coeditor of Jefferson’s Poplar Forest: Unearthing a Virginia Plantation

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Household archaeologists view the home as a social unit, but few move their investigations “beyond the walls” to place a household in its community. In Beyond the Walls: New Perspectives on the Archaeology of Historical Households, the contributors show how exterior aspects of a dwelling—plant life, yard spaces, trash heaps—uncover issues of domination and resistance, gender relations, and the effects of colonialism. This innovative volume examines historical homes and their wider landscapes to more fully address social issues of the past.

The essayists, leading archaeologists using various interpretive frameworks, analyze households across time periods and diverse cultures in North America. Including case studies of James Madison’s Montpelier, George Washington’s Ferry Farm, Chinese immigrants in a Nevada mining town and Southern plantations, Beyond the Walls offers a new avenue for archaeological study of domestic sites.

Kevin R. Fogle is an instructor in the department of anthropology at the University of South Carolina. James A. Nyman is an instructor in the department of anthropology at the University of North Carolina. Mary C. Beaudry, professor of archaeology, anthropology, and gastronomy at Boston University, is the author of Findings: The Material Culture of Needlework and Sewing.

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Categories: Archaeology

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