Shackel, Paul A. and
Little, Barbara J, eds. Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake.
Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994. 299 p.
Photographs, maps, and drawings.
This book is a collection
of 18 scholarly research essays written by archaeologists on different aspects
of the historical Chesapeake region, including the western shore of Maryland
and Virginia. Editors Shackel and Little assembled these works in an attempt
to “provide a representative collection of substantive and theoretical contributions
of historical archaeology” in this area. The volume excludes underwater
archaeology entirely, and is broken up into four parts: Early European Settlement;
Plantation and Landscape Studies; Eighteenth-Century Life; and Nineteenth-Century
Life. These essays are an excellent resource, providing a broad view of
the research carried out by leading and respected scholars within the field.
To its credit, this volume has pulled together authors with diverse backgrounds,
views and approaches to interpreting historical archaeology. For instance,
the collection examines archaeological issues from the perspective of ideology,
feminism, trade, landscapes, slave relations, as well as social, cultural, and
economic frameworks. This work touches a wide range of topics; for instance,
it covers African connections in clay pipes, the transformation of the 18th-century
Mount Vernon plantation, the creamware revolution in the Chesapeake, the Antietam
Furnace frontier ironworks, and Alexandria’s sugar trade. This book is
recommended to scholars with academic specific interests, as well as the layperson
looking to learn more about archaeology in the Chesapeake region focused on
the last few centuries. [J. Kille]