In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life (Paperback)
History is recorded in many ways. According toauthor James Deetz, the past can be seen most fullyby studying the small things so often forgotten.Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musicalinstruments, and even shards of pottery fill in thecracks between large historical events and depictthe intricacies of daily life. In his completelyrevised and expanded edition of "In SmallThings Forgotten," Deetz has added newsections that more fully acknowledge the presenceof women and African Americans in ColonialAmerica. New interpretations of archaeological findsdetail how minorities influenced and were affectedby the development of the Anglo-American traditionin the years following the settlers' arrival inPlymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Among Deetz'sobservations:
Subtle changes in building long before theRevolutionary War hinted at the growing independenceof the American colonies and their desire to beless like theBritish.
Records of estate auctions show that manyhouseholds in Colonial America contained only onechair--underscoring the patriarchal nature of theearly American family. All other members of thehousehold sat on stools or thefloor.
The excavation of a tiny community offreed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence ofthe transplantation of African culture to NorthAmerica.
Simultaneouslya study of American life and an explanation ofhow American life is studied, "In SmallThings Forgotten," through the everydaydetails of ordinary living, colorfully depicts aworld hundreds of years in the past.
About the Author
James Deetz, Ph.D., is the Harrison Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Virginia. Perhaps the foremost expert on the archaeology of Plymouth Colony, he is considered one of the "founding fathers" of Historical Archaeology. For eleven years Deetz worked as the Assistant Director of the museum at Plymouth Plantation, where he introduced an innovative interpretive program. He is the author of "In Small Things Forgotten" and "Flowerdew Hundred,"
Patricia Scott Deetz is a cultural historian with an M. A. in history from Rhodes University, South Africa. She has worked with her husband as a researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia for the past seven years.