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Excavating Occaneechi Town

Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century Indian Village in North Carolina

Edited by R. P. Stephen Davis Jr., Patrick C. Livingood, H. Trawick Ward, and Vincas P. Steponaitis

Copyright © 1998 by the University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved. ISBN 0-8078-6503-6 (cd-rom & booklet).


FROM THE CD-ROM / Getting Started


An Annotated Guide to Excavating Occaneechi Town

The following is a brief, annotated guide to the chapters and articles contained on this CD-ROM. Chapter names are written in boldface; article names are written in italics. Most readers will wish to begin by reading the Archaeology Primer and the Archaeological Background article in the Background chapter.

Archaeology Primer

This chapter provides a brief, illustrated tutorial on how archaeologist go about excavating an archaeological site. It will help you understand the methods and principles that were used to excavate Occaneechi Town.

Introduction

This chapter includes the front matter of this electronic book: Title Page, Foreword, Preface, and Acknowledgments.

Contents

This chapter contains a Table of Contents, List of Pages, List of Figures, and List of Tables. These provide direct links to all chapters, articles, pages, figures, and tables.

Background

The articles in this chapter provide both archaeological and historical background on the Occaneechi and Occaneechi Town. They are written for a general audience.

Archaeological Background. This article provides an historical background of the Occaneechi and their village near Hillsborough, a general history of archaeology in the region, and a discussion of how the Fredricks site (i.e., Occaneechi Town) was discovered and excavated.

"This Western World": The Evolution of the Piedmont, 1525-1725 This article discusses the early history of the Occaneechi and their Siouan-speaking neighbors in piedmont North Carolina and Virginia. It also discusses the dynamics of Indian-European relationships during this important period of Native American history.

Occaneechi-Saponi Descendants in the Texas Community of the North Carolina Piedmont. This article discusses the history of the Occaneechi after 1725 and their descendants. Some Native American families living today in the Eno Valley area trace their histories back to Occaneechi Town.

Artifacts

The articles in this chapter provide detailed discussions of the major classes of artifacts found at the Fredricks site. They are somewhat technical and written primarily for other archaeologists; however, they also contain detailed descriptions, illustrations, and interpretations that will be of interest to the layperson.Pottery. This article describes, illustrates, and discusses the whole pots and potsherds that were found during archaeological excavations. These artifacts are remnants of the clay cooking and storage vessels that the Occaneechi made and used while living at Occaneechi Town. Some of the pottery found at the site also reflects occupations by earlier peoples.

Stone Tools. This article describes, illustrates, and discusses the chipped-stone and ground-stone tools that were found during archaeological excavations. These artifacts represent tools that the Occaneechi and their predecessors used for weapons, hide-working, wood-working, and other day-to-day tasks.

Shell Ornaments. Marine shell was used by Native Americans to make beads and pendants (called gorgets) for personal adornment. This article discusses the shell artifacts that were found at the Fredricks site and how they were made and used by the Occaneechi.

European Trade Artifacts. Because the Occaneechi traded with the English living in Tidewater Virginia, they acquired numerous items of European manufacture and used them for a variety of tasks. Some of the trade artifacts found at Occaneechi Town include a musket, wine bottles, axes, hoes, knives, scissors, pewter porringers, a brass kettle, clay pipes, wire bracelets, and glass beads. These and other such items are described and illustrated, and their significance to the Occaneechi is discussed.

Food Remains

This chapter describes the animal bones and charred plants that were found at the Fredricks site. The articles are organized by field season(s). While all the articles are somewhat technical, Animal Remains (1983-1984) and Plant Remains (1983-1984) also contain good discussions, based on ethnohistoric accounts and comparative ethnography, of how the Occaneechi used their natural environment.

Animal Remains (1983-1984). This article describes and interprets the animal bones found at the Fredricks site in 1983 and 1984, and compares them to similar remains found at the earlier, nearby Wall site. It also provides a good discussion, based on written accounts of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, of what animals were hunted by Native Americans and how they were used.

Animal Remains (1985). This article describes and interprets the animal bones found at the Fredricks site in 1985.

Animal Remains (1986). This article describes and interprets the animal bones found at the Fredricks site in 1986.

Plant Remains (1983-1984). This article describes and interprets the plant remains found at the Fredricks site in 1983 and 1984, and compares them to similar samples obtained at the earlier, nearby Wall site. It also provides a general discussion of Occaneechi plant use.

Plant Remains (1985) This article describes and interprets the plant remains found at the Fredricks site in 1985.

Plant Remains (1986) This article describes and interprets the plant remains found at the Fredricks site in 1986.

General Interpretations

The articles in this chapter interpret the archaeological findings from Occaneechi Town in the broader context of Native American lifeways during the period between A.D. 1000 and 1700. They should be of general interest to both archaeologists and laypersons.

Occaneechi Town: A Summary of Archaeological Findings. This article provides a concise summary of Occaneechi village structure, population, trade influences, subsistence, and material culture.

The Evolution of Siouan Communities in Piedmont North Carolina. This article examines Native American settlement patterns in the northern Piedmont of North Carolina from about A.D. 1000 to 1700.

Burial Practices. This article discusses the burial practices of Siouan peoples in the northern Piedmont of North Carolina (A.D. 1400-1700), with a focus on the archaeological findings from the Occaneechi Town cemetery.

The Impact of Old World Diseases on the Native Inhabitants of the North Carolina Piedmont This article uses archaeological evidence from several excavated village sites that date from A.D. 1400 to 1700 (including Occaneechi Town) to investigate the impact of European-introduced diseases on the native Siouan population.

The Occaneechi and Their Role as Middlemen in the Seventeenth-Century Virginia-North Carolina Trade Network. This article brings together historical accounts and archaeological evidence to investigate the Occaneechis' central role in the fur trade between Piedmont Siouan groups and the English in Virginia.

Excavations

This chapter provides complete information for all excavated archaeological contexts (i.e., squares, features, and structures) at the site, including maps, photographs before and after excavation, written descriptions, inventories of artifacts found, and photographs of many artifacts. This information is accessed by clicking on a specific context on the site map or by selecting a specific square, feature, or structure number in the list of contexts accessed from the top menu bar (GoTo | Choose a Context)>

Electronic Dig

This chapter is a teaching tool designed for students. It begins with a blank excavation grid and allows students to excavate the site by clicking on a square and thereby opening it. As they excavate, they gain access to all the information associated with the squares they have opened, including descriptions, photographs, drawings and tabulations of all the key finds.


From Excavating Occaneechi Town, a CD-ROM for Windows / ISBN 0-8078-6503-6 / $45.00 / Published for the Research Laboratories of Archaeology by the University of North Carolina Press

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