Historical Archaeology Class Blog

Welcome to the University of Washington, Seattle’s Archy 472: Historical Archaeology Class Blog!

What can the things you routinely do in your daily life tell us about who you are as an individual? For example, what stories can we tell through the foods we eat and the ways in which we prepare them? Or how can the layout of our neighborhood or city reflect who we are as a community? In this course we will examine how historical archaeology uses the “small things forgotten”—the material residues of our everyday practices—to better understand the recent and contemporary past.

Why Historical Archaeology?

While some might question the need for doing archaeology when we have documents—when we ostensibly “know” what happened because its part of written history—mainstream histories often exclude significant portions of the past by skewing or erasing entirely the histories and experiences of social, ethnic, and cultural minorities.  In Historical Archaeology: Materializing Race, Gender, and Class students consider the ways in which historical archaeology and its concern with material practice provides an alternative way of understanding these excluded pasts.

Each student in my Historical Archaeology course is asked to produce a series of posts that reflect their engagement with the methods and interpretive frames of historical archaeological practice as they learn the process of constructing interpretations about daily life through material remains, historical documents, oral histories and other lines of evidence.  Topics explore the intersections between evidence, history, and authority, situate the unique social, political, and ethical contexts of archaeological practice, and present the results of analysis on various material collections.

Please read and comment on their blog posts:

Historical Archaeology, Winter 2017

Historical Archaeology, Spring 2015

Historical Archaeology, Spring 2014