As we heighten our focus on the constituents of households, archaeologists are increasingly aware of the role females have to play in compiling and transmitting their portable estates. Women bring in dowries from their natal home, and they participate in choosing and buying household items such as teawares, tablewares, furnishings, and carpets. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, several features have been discovered with substantial household inventories left behind as de facto refuse when a female head of household departs from the site. This paper explores the gendered nature of acquistion and abandonment behaviors at 19th-century urban sites to better reconstruct socioeconomic status of households.
Wheeler, Kathleen L.
"Contributions of Women to the Acquisition, Maintenance, and Discard of Portable Estates,"
Northeast Historical Archaeology:
28, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.buffalostate.edu/neha/vol28/iss1/4