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The micromorphology of landscapes: An archaeological approach in Southern New England

Michael A Volmar, University of Massachusetts Amherst


In this thesis I explore the archaeology of Southern New England by examining two places on the Native American landscape. I argue that archaeology should focus on studying entire landscapes to understand the total range of human effects present. The ethnohistoric record provides illuminating details to our understanding of the Native American landscape. The method I employ in this dissertation to exemplify how best to study the archaeology of the past Native landscape is soil micromorphology. This method, by providing a detailed view of soil microstructure, enables archaeologists to recognize very discrete alterations to the landscape otherwise undetectable. My analyses suggest that the landscape is not easily divisible into cultural and non-cultural, site and non-site or feature and non-feature areas. Rather, the entire landscape is more appropriately viewed as a continuum of areas with low to high evidence of cultural disturbance.

Subject Area

Archaeology|Cultural anthropology|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Volmar, Michael A, "The micromorphology of landscapes: An archaeological approach in Southern New England" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9823784.