Date Awarded

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Michelle Lelièvre

Committee Member

Kathleen J. Bragdon

Committee Member

Martin D. Gallivan

Committee Member

Jennifer Kahn

Committee Member

Craig N. Cipolla


This dissertation summarizes all research findings pertaining to 2017-2018 Archaeological Excavations at Camden Farm, Virginia. The goal of the project was to seek out a previously unexcavated Indigenous house site within the property’s “Post-Contact” (i.e.,1646 - ~1720 A.D.) Rappahannock Indian village in order to analyze structural morphology and the suite of artifact assemblages relating to domestic production, consumption, and exchange practices. Findings were compared to a previously excavated house site from the same village, in addition to similar domestic contexts dating between the “Late Woodland II” and “Contact” (A.D. 1200-1650) periods from the Virginia’s James River valley. The results of this comparison suggest that “Post-Contact” Rappahannock households re-negotiated fundamental political-economic relationships that defined elite and commoner class roles for the centuries. Moreover, archaeological evidence suggests that these re-negotiations appear to reflect mediation between long-term historical trajectories of the Rappahannock community and short-term life choices aimed at navigating Virginia’s 17th century colonial landscape. All of these historical developments would not have been possible if not for the work on one key, often-overlooked demographic group: Indigenous women.



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