"Success and competence will have crowned their efforts": The farmstead archaeology of western New York, c.1810--1910
Austin, Ryan Francis
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This study examines the social, economic and material effects of the 19 th century agricultural revolution on three rural agrarian sites located in Erie County, New York, as compared to three similar sites located in Chenango and Delaware County, New York. Within each county, the development of commercial agriculture and the persistence and/or disappearance of mixed subsistence farmsteads can be attributed to the differential effects of geography, transportation and market access. Although each site's development was influenced by particulars of household composition, family life cycle and traditional ethno-cultural behavior patterns of their occupants, it was found that their material and historical characteristics, as evinced by domestic ceramic assemblages, was most heavily influenced not only by the economic conditions of each household, but by the types of agricultural systems that historically developed in each region coupled with family subsistence needs. By using contract archaeological projects as the primary source of data, this study not only rescues significant historical and archaeological data from being lost in the 'grey-literature', but also improves our contextual understanding of agrarian sites in so far as this knowledge can be used to facilitate the practice of cultural resource management throughout New York and the northeastern United States.