•  
  •  
 

Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

This paper presents the results of excavations at the Heminitz Property Site (36LH267), a rural domestic site in Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania; Excavation, .'of several spatially and temporally discrete features and midden deposits in yards surrounding the house produced 6,875 artifacts. Documentary research revealed that the ca. 1843 house was intended to house tenant families engaged in agricultural labor. Analysis of the archaeological and documentary records associated with this site and the region shows that inthe mid-1800s, agricultural laborers possessed similar material. culture to neighboring independent farmers, while subsisting at a lower level of consumption. The transiiionfromagricultural to manufacturing labor occurred at the Heminitz Property Site in the mid-18/!Os, a time period' that saw an increase in the quantity and value of domestic artifacts acquired by the site's occupants. Archaeological and documentary data indicate that manufacturing laborers were materially betteT off than agricultural workers, though these benefits most likely came at the expense of chronic, low~l~erdebtto local storeowners. This investigation suggests the existence of a rural agrarian culture in'which individualsimd families could participate in differently, according to their particular economic circumstances;

Share

COinS