The Archaeology of North American Farmsteads

Mark D. Groover

Foreword by Michael S. Nassaney, Series Editor

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"An excellent introduction to the material legacy of farming in the United States from the 1600s to the 1950s."--Donald L. Hardesty, University of Nevada, Reno

"Groover's approach directly challenges the common misconception by many agencies and state historic preservation offices, which consider farmsteads to be redundant resources without important information potential, by demonstrating a wide range of important research topics and results from the colonial era into the twentieth century."--Barbara J. Litte, National Park Service

From the early colonial period to the close of World War II, life in North America was predominantly agrarian and rural. Archaeological exploration of farmsteads unveils a surprising quantity of data about rural life, consumption patterns, and migrations across the continent.

Mark Groover offers both case studies and an overview of current trends in farmstead archaeology in this exciting new work. He also proposes a research design and makes numerous suggestions for evaluating (and re-evaluating) the significance of farmsteads as an archaeological resource. His chronological survey of farmstead sites throughout numerous regions of North America provides fascinating insights to students, cultural resource management professionals, or general readers interested in learning more about what material culture remains can teach us about the American past.

Farmstead archaeology is a rapidly expanding component of historical archaeology. This book offers important lessons and information as more sites become victims of ever-accelerating development and urbanization.

Mark D. Groover is assistant professor of anthropology at Ball State University.

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"Important not only for stressing that farmstead archaeology is essential to understanding how the vast rural landscape was used by farming families through time, but also for providing a research design for evaluating the significance of farmsteads as an archaeological resource. This book will be welcomed by not only archaeologists and anthropologists, but also geographers, historians, architectural historians, and sociologists."

"In this consice volume, Mark D. Groover argues for the central place of the material record provided by archaeology in documenting and interpreting the everyday lives of rural Americans. While historical archaeology has been derided as a very expensive way to find out what someone ate, this book outlines the social and cultural significance of agriculture in American history, the range of research issues that have been successfully examined at rural sites, and some future directions for research."
--Journal of Southern History

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