Functional analysis of probate inventories and archaeological material of the Lick Creek community : an antebellum midwest biracial community

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Laswell, Jeffrey L.
Groover, Mark D.
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Anthropology
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During the nineteenth century, Indiana was home to nearly two dozen agricultural communities comprised of primarily African American residents. These short lived communities represented one of the few contexts in which both African American and non-African American groups lived and worked together within a viable rural community. By analyzing one such settlement, this study presents a basis for comparative functional analysis at the household level through the use of pattern identification of material culture. This study utilized both probate inventory assessments of the period and archeological material within the same classification scheme. Advantages and disadvantages of both data sources are also presented. While the data between the two groups showed little differentiation concerning household material composition, slight differences, particularly at the class level, was evident. These differences may have been based in socio-economic concerns or may have exhibited active consumer choice, reflecting minute aspects of cultural identity.