The American Frontier

The American Frontier

An Archaeological Study of Settlement Pattern and Process

1st Edition - June 7, 1984

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  • Author: Kenneth E. Lewis
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483297125

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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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 333
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1984
  • Published: June 7, 1984
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483297125

About the Author

Kenneth E. Lewis

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