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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Archaeological excavations have been performed at the Shaeffer Farm site (36AR410), a rural residence in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Documentary research and archaeological investigations indicate that the site was mainly occupied in the 19th century, probably by the Shaeffer family during its earliest occupation phase, and later by tenants. The site consisted of a dry-laid stone foundation and artifacts dating from approximately 1830 until shortly after 1900. The artifacts included architectural, domestic, faunal, and personal items. The study provided information about the lives of rural middle- and lower-class residents in western Pennsylvania, focusing on the housing, diet, recreation, and social aspirations of the residents. Information was obtained about the nature of small farming communities in American backcountry areas and the attitude of farmers toward an increasingly capitalist marketplace.

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