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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Authors

Rebecca Yamin

Abstract

Archaeological excavations and associated documentary studies at Raritan Landing, an 18th/19th-century port site on the Raitan River in Piscataway, New Jersey, suggested that the relationship between this small community of traders and New York City merchants changed during the years preceding the Revolutionary War. Diminshing kinship, commercial, and institutional ties between the Raritan Landing traders and New York investors appeared to reflect increasing independence from New York domination over time. When the ceramics recovered from pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary-period deposits were compared to deposits from several sites in Manhattan and another site within New York, a pattern emerged that has been interpreted as another indication of New Jersey's increasing independence from New York. Interpreted in the context of boundary maintenance theory, this ceramic study contributes a different perspective on New Jersey's history than is available from other sources.

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