Pottery production at Fort Hill (27CH85) a seventeenth-century refugee community in northern New England
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This thesis formulates a model for explaining stylistic, functional, and compositional diversity in ceramic artifacts produced during the contact period (A.D. 1590-1700) of northern New England. The seventeenth century saw dramatic increases in internecine warfare among New England's indigenous populations and with European colonists. Additionally, introductions of epidemic and endemic disease decimated the native population by well over half within less than 100 years. Individuals and families responded to the rapid social change of this time by fleeing high-stress areas and joining communities perceived to be more stable. A model for detecting this refugee movement is proposed and evaluated using a sample of archaeological pottery from Fort Hill (27CH85), in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Hypotheses comprising this model propose that amalgamations of refugees may be detectable within the archaeological record through the appearance of greater diversity in stylistic elements and decreased variability in functional traits. Analyses of the Fort Hill assemblage support the hypothesis that multiple ethnic groups were present at Fort Hill, despite the fact that European chroniclers used a single tribal name to refer to the Native Americans who lived at the site. These findings suggest that archaeologists and anthropologists must consider that social groups mentioned in historical accounts were actually comprised of multiple ethnic groups, and that the material record of contact period Native Americans may reflect processes of cultural amalgamation of small groups of refugees rather than stable communities of unified ethnic affiliation.
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