Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Neil L Norman

Committee Member

Fredrick H Smith

Committee Member

Amy Roache-Fedchenko


Historically, there has been significant interest in examining pre-contact and historic sites of conflict. Recent studies in historic conflict archaeology have contributed to scholars’ understanding of military sites, specific battles, and sites of sieges and encampments. Archaeological excavations at the 18th century Fort Stanwix in Rome, New York have uncovered a rich assemblage that has facilitated the reconstruction of the fort; however, it is a careful analyses of the artifacts recovered during this process that can help scholars explore life at the fort. Integrating archaeological, historical, and documentary evidence, this paper analyzes the spatial and typological distribution of ceramics at Fort Stanwix. It examines the way the officers and rank-and-file soldiers negotiated power relations as well as the ways that material culture is imbricated in the maintenance of “military order” at this isolated fort. Assuming officers and soldiers maintained strict discipline, scholars may expect to find structures with particular material types and forms of ceramics that signaled status; however, this study confounds the standard assumption. Instead, a careful analysis of the ceramics suggests that even though officers managed to maintain order at Fort Stanwix, the officers and soldiers may have occupied the same structures and did not necessarily rely on ceramics to demarcate status. Ultimately, this study provides a much-needed examination of the ways in which armies maintained discipline in isolated forts and encampments during the 18th century.



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