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An Archaeological Study of Rural Capitalism and Material Life : The Gibbs Farmstead in Southern Appalachia, 1790-1920 - Mark D. Groover

An Archaeological Study of Rural Capitalism and Material Life

The Gibbs Farmstead in Southern Appalachia, 1790-1920

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Published: 30th April 2003
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Quickly vanishing in our own time, less than a century ago family-operated farms were a predominant way of life in North America. Since the 1600s the agriculture practiced on American farms has been a catalyst of both geographic settlement and economic expansion. During the 19th century, four generations of the Nicholas Gibbs family operated a successful farm in Knox County, East Tennessee.

In this book, archaeology and historical information are combined with strands of thought in world systems theory and the Annales school of French social history to explore the influence of rural capitalism upon everyday life and material conditions at a Southern Appalachian farmstead. Focusing upon the domestic landscape, architecture, and household items, consideration of material life reveals the presence of a substantial folk orientation among the Gibbs family that was also significantly influenced by larger trends within national-level consumerism and popular culture.

An Archaeological Study of Rural Capitalism and Material Life will be of interest to historical archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, social historians, and historical sociologists, especially researchers studying the influence of globalization and economic development upon rural regions like Appalachia.

From the reviews:
"In many respects this is an impressive and groundbreaking study. I have read very few other analyses that have so effectively used 'unremarkable' farmsteads to say something remarkable about historical processes in the U.S. Groover's method of time sequence analysis is promising and worthy of further use and consideration. In sum, this is an important new book in historical archaeology."
(Judith A. Bense, Journal of Anthropological Research, 60, 2004)
"...this study is an effective contribution to site-based analysis, and shows how the particulars of one unremarkable farmstead can contribute to wider issues of interpretation."
(Harold Mytum, Post-Medieval Archaeology)
"The theoretical structure and analytical methodology of historical archaeology has clearly evolved over the past four decades. Mark Groover's rich study of the German-American Gibbs family farmstead in Knox County, Tennessee, is an example of the detailed application of current theoretical and methodological concepts to the interpretation of this site. Groover produces an extremely fine-grained temporal analysis of the Gibbs farmstead and identifies several trends and patterns in economic activity and material culture."
(Cliff Boyd, The Journal of Appalachian Studies)

Theory, Methods, and Historical Contextp. 1
Introductionp. 3
Interpretive Theory and Methodsp. 9
World Systems Theoryp. 10
Temporal Scales and Household Dynamicsp. 18
Braudel and the Annales Schoolp. 21
Family Cycles and Household Successionp. 23
Linking Interpretive Theory to the Material Recordp. 29
History of the Nicholas Gibbs Extended Familyp. 37
The Nicholas Gibbs Family and Farmsteadp. 38
From the Palatinate to Pennsylvania, 1733-1760sp. 41
The Nicholas Gibbs Household in North Carolina, 1760s-1791p. 49
The Nicholas Gibbs Household in Knox County, 1792-1817p. 54
The Daniel Gibbs Household, 1817-1852p. 59
The Rufus Gibbs Household, 1852-1905p. 62
The John Gibbs Household, 1905-1913p. 63
The Tenant Period, 1913-1986p. 65
The Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society, 1986-Presentp. 66
Household Cycles for the Gibbs Family, 1764-1913p. 67
Summary of Household Successionp. 69
The Gibbs Farmstead: Agricultural Production and Economic Strategiesp. 71
Appalachia's Ridge and Valley Province: Physical and Cultural Geographyp. 74
Infrastructure Development in the Study Areap. 77
Diachronic Trends in Land Ownershipp. 85
Information Sources and Analysis Methodsp. 85
Rural Infillingp. 87
Disparity in Land Ownershipp. 92
Agricultural Production Trends: A Diachronic Analysisp. 96
The Southp. 97
East Tennessee and Knox Countyp. 99
The Gibbs Farmsteadp. 100
Recovering Mind: Identifying Subsistence and Surplus Producersp. 103
Archaeology and Material Lifep. 111
Archaeological Investigations at the Gibbs Sitep. 113
Field Research Designp. 113
Site Excavation Areasp. 116
Identifying Continuity and Change in the Domestic Landscapep. 127
Diachronic Trends: Midden and Maintenance Declinep. 129
Households and Archaeological Featuresp. 141
Domestic Architecture, Landscape Change, and Household Successionp. 143
Regional and National Architectural Trendsp. 156
Diachronic Trends in Consumerism and the Standard of Livingp. 167
The Development of Consumerismp. 168
Consumerism and Newspaper Advertisementsp. 171
The Standard of Living: Probate Inventory Analysisp. 176
Summaryp. 193
Time Sequence Analysis: Exploring Household Dynamicsp. 197
Functional Analysisp. 197
Time Sequence Analysisp. 198
Systematic Site Survey and Testingp. 204
The Total Artifact Assemblagep. 208
Sheet Middenp. 215
Feature 16, The Smokehouse Pit Cellarp. 217
Summaryp. 221
Foodways Among the Gibbs Familyp. 225
Diet and Faunal Remainsp. 225
Ceramics and Foodwaysp. 230
Minimum Vessel Analysisp. 238
Time Sequence Analysisp. 244
Ceramic Use by Householdsp. 251
The Redware Assemblagep. 256
Development of Redware Potteries in East Tennesseep. 258
Redware Analysis Resultsp. 262
Summaryp. 267
A Southern Appalachian Farm Family Reconsideredp. 271
Agricultural Production Informationp. 279
Probate Inventory Analysis Informationp. 289
Artifact Analysis Informationp. 295
Referencesp. 301
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780306477737
ISBN-10: 0306477734
Series: Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 322
Published: 30th April 2003
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 1.12