In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life (Google eBook)
History is recorded in many ways. According to author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully by studying the small things so often forgotten. Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the cracks between large historical events and depict the intricacies of daily life. In his completely revised and expanded edition of In Small Things Forgotten, Deetz has added new sections that more fully acknowledge the presence of women and African Americans in Colonial America. New interpretations of archaeological finds detail how minorities influenced and were affected by the development of the Anglo-American tradition in the years following the settlers' arrival in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Among Deetz's observations:
Subtle changes in building long before the Revolutionary War hinted at the growing independence of the American colonies and their desire to be less like the British.
Records of estate auctions show that many households in Colonial America contained only one chair--underscoring the patriarchal nature of the early American family. All other members of the household sat on stools or the floor.
The excavation of a tiny community of freed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence of the transplantation of African culture to North America.
Simultaneously a study of American life and an explanation of how American life is studied, In Small Things Forgotten, through the everyday details of ordinary living, colorfully depicts a world hundreds of years in the past.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This is one of my favourite books, even though it inspires historical archaeology envy in me. It is a very readable melding of documentary research with archaeological evidence. The mundane becomes important, and sheds light onto ordinary lives. This is history almost lierally, from the bottom up. Deetz brings humanity into archaeology, and discusses everything from why Americans eat with forks in the right hand and Europeans in the left, to foodways in various classes of colonial American society to the life cycle of crockery and stylistic changes in gravestone carving.
Review: In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American LifeUser Review - Goodreads
Very good. Easy to read, with the few academic terms clearly defined, but mostly in casual language. My interest in the history and archaeology of Anglo-American colonies is renewed even further after finishing this book.
Flowerdew Hundred: The Archaeology of a Virginia Plantation, 1619-1864
Limited preview - 1995
THE ANoLoAMERIcAN PAsT
ALL THE EARTIIENwARE PLAIN ANI FLowERED
REMEMBER ME As You PAss BY
SMALL THINGS REMEMBERED
THE AFRICAN AMERIcAN PAST
SMALL TIIINcs FORGOTTEN