The Seneca Restoration, 1715–1754:
An Iroquois Local Political Economy

Kurt A. Jordan

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“Fascinating, compelling, and illuminating. . . . Weaves together the major source materials of ethnohistorical scholarship—archaeological, ethnographical, and historical—in ways that are consistently persuasive and revealing.”—Reviews in American History
 
"Elegantly demolishes the prevailing scholarly view that Seneca culture suffered gradual decline during the eighteenth century. Jordan has combined archaeology and history to provide us with a new and compelling picture of the Seneca."--William Engelbrecht, Buffalo State College

"Jordan's archaeological approach to eighteenth-century Native American settlement patterns is original and creative. It sets a promising new standard for interdisciplinary investigations of the potential complexity underlying domestic and settlement choices."--Martha L. Sempowski, Rochester Museum and Science Center and Seneca Archaeology Research Project

The Iroquois confederacy, one of the most influential Native American groups encountered by early European settlers, is commonly perceived as having plunged into steep decline in the late seventeenth century due to colonial encroachment into the Great Lakes region. Kurt Jordan challenges long-standing interpretations that depict the Iroquois as defeated, colonized peoples by demonstrating that an important nation of that confederacy, the Senecas, maintained an impressive political and economic autonomy and resisted colonialism with a high degree of success.

By combining archaeological data grounded in the material culture of the Seneca Townley-Read site with historical documents, Jordan answers larger questions about the Seneca's cultural sustainability and durability in an era of intense colonial pressures. He offers a detailed reconstruction of daily life in the Seneca community and demonstrates that they were extremely selective about which aspects of European material culture, plant and animal species, and lifeways they allowed into their territory.

Kurt A. Jordan is assistant professor of anthropology and American Indian Studies at Cornell University.

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This outstanding study is based on the author's archaeological analysis of the Seneca's Townley-Read site near Geneva, New York, as well as his thorough examination of the literature on the late-17th-and 18th-century Iroqouis. Essential.
--Choice

Jordan has made a key and sound argument regarding Haudenosaunee culture and history that should be read by acedemics, historians, and laypeople.
--American Indian Culture and Research Journal

Archaeologists will and should applaud Jordan for his meticulous thoroughness and his culturally sensitive approach.
--Historical Archaeology

Will have a significant impact on the ethnohistory of colonial-indigenous engagements far beyond the important case of the Seneca Restoration.
--Ethnohistory

Fascinating, compelling, and illuminating. . . . Weaves together the major source materials of ethnohistorical scholarship--archaeological, ethnographical, and historical--in ways that are consistently persuasive and revealing.
--Reviews in American History

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