Date Awarded

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Martin D. Gallivan

Abstract

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has recently gained traction amongst academic researchers and cultural resource managers due to reasonable equipment costs and software processing advancements. Archaeologists have applied GPR within various methodological approaches, focusing on GPR's ability to map multiple soil types, concentrate an area of interest for archaeological testing, or gain knowledge with attention to site preservation. More recently, non-invasive practitioners of GPR have called for an advancing discussion of GPR results. The trajectory of this call aims to focus the interpretation of historical groups and events through GPR results and move beyond traditional geoarchaeological prospection practice. My research assessed a nuanced approach at the New Quarter site near Queen's Creek in Virginia by combining GPR, archaeological excavations, soil augering, radiocarbon dating, and historical research. The New Quarter site is an Early Archaic to Early 20th-century site, with the majority of known archaeological features and material culture associated with the 18th century Burwell family slave quarter referred to as New Quarter. In 2006, test units exposed a subfloor pit feature associated with an enslaved dwelling. My research focuses on the subfloor pit location as it is an ideal candidate for testing GPR to survey the limitations and characteristics of a building structure while comparatively discussing previously identified regional 18th century slave quarters. The results and discussion of my research demonstrate the success of utilizing GPR to identify geologic and anthropogenic clayey soils at the New Quarter site and provide further information on enslaved family formation in Virginia’s plantation landscapes through space and architectural form.

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