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The American Frontier - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124465602, 9781483297125

The American Frontier

1st Edition

An Archaeological Study of Settlement Pattern and Process

Author: Kenneth E. Lewis
eBook ISBN: 9781483297125
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 7th June 1984
Page Count: 333
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The American Frontier: An Archaeological Study of Settlement Pattern and Process focuses on general rules or laws for the evolution of all agrarian frontiers, emphasizing those that are expanding. A variety of frontiers is also discussed in addition to the agrarian type to pinpoint similarities and differences. Organized into 11 chapters, this book first elucidates the processes of frontier colonization, and then describes the frontier model employed for the interpretation of documentary and material evidence for the examination of the development of South Carolina frontier. Some chapters then focus on the examination of South Carolina's colonial past in terms of the model to determine its degree of conformity with the latter and to set the stage for the archaeological study; the development of archaeological hypotheses; and a consideration of the material record. Other types of frontiers are characterized by separate developmental processes, and several of these are discussed in Chapter 10 as avenues for further research. This book will be valuable to scholars in several fields, including history, geography, and anthropology. Historical archaeologists will find it especially useful in designing research in former colonial areas and in modeling additional kinds of frontier change.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations




1. Introduction

Colonization as a Process of Change

Modeling Processes of Colonization

Colonization and the Archaeological Record

The Frontier as a Regional Process

Relevance of Frontier Studies

Agricultural Colonization in British North America

The South Carolina Frontier

Beyond Agricultural Frontiers

2. The Development of a Frontier Model


The Frontier: Development of the Concept

The Frontier and European Expansion

The Development of a Model of Insular Frontier Settlement

The South Carolina Frontier: Sources of Evidence

3. The Development of South Carolina as an Insular Frontier


South Carolina as a Region

South Carolina's Establishment as a Colony

Transport and Spatial Patterning on the South Carolina Frontier

The Expansion of the South Carolina Frontier

Patterns of Settlement on the South Carolina Frontier

Settlement Pattern and Function: The Organization of Activities on the South Carolina Frontier

Settlement Hierarchy: The Colonization Gradient in South Carolina


4. Examining the Insular Frontier in South Carolina: Research Directions and Archaeological Hypotheses


Basic Assumptions

Processes and Patterns

Historical Analogy and Archaeological Investigation

Examining the Archaeological Record

The Development of Archaeological Hypotheses


5. Examining Hypotheses for the Colony's Establishment


Hypothesis 1: Creation and Maintenance of Cultural Ties with the Homeland

Hypothesis 2: Innovation and the Frontier Environment

Hypothesis 3: Long-Term Settlement in the Area of Colonization

6. Examining Hypotheses for Spatial Patterning


Hypothesis 4: Definition of the Entrepôt

Hypothesis 5: The Dendritic Form of Settlement

7. Examining Hypotheses for Expansion


Hypothesis 6: Expansion as a Continuous Process

Hypothesis 7: Patterns of Settlement Distribution

8. Examining Hypotheses for Settlement Pattern and the Distribution of Activities


Hypothesis 8: Frontier Towns, Secondary Centers of Activity

Hypothesis 9: Nucleated Settlements on the Frontier

Hypothesis 10: Dispersed Frontier Settlements

Settlement Function and Distribution: A Summary

9. The Colonization Gradient and a Summary of the Archaeological Analysis

Hypothesis 11: The Colonization Gradient

Summary of the Archaeological Analysis

10. Beyond the Insular Frontier


Expanding the Frontier Concept: Cosmopolitan Frontier Change

Processes of Cosmopolitan Frontier Change

Cosmopolitan Frontiers and the Archaeological Record

11. Conclusions

Archaeology and Colonization

The Regional Approach to Frontier Studies

Frontier Studies and the Expansion of Europe


Collections and Record Groups

Maps and Atlases

Literature Cited



No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1984
7th June 1984
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Kenneth E. Lewis

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