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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Authors

Michael J. Gall

Abstract

The archaeology of townscapes can provide important information about cultural development and the transfer of settlement systems. This close examination of 17th-century settlement in northeastern New Jersey focuses on Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County, between 1669 and 1676. The study highlights the complexity of early colonial settlement systems in East Jersey and also examines the ways in which experimentation with Old World– and New England–style corporation settlement models; strong desires for land accumulation, power, and wealth; inheritance practices; and religion influenced English townscape development within northeastern New Jersey. The aspects outlined herein likely influenced the creation of other township-corporation settlements by New England immigrants to East New Jersey during the 17th century. These settlement patterns were markedly different than those developed through proprietary landgrant sales elsewhere in the colony.

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