Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Archaeology, Anthropology, Native American, Cultural Entanglement, Connecticut, 17th Century

Major Advisor

Kevin McBride

Associate Advisor

Alexia Smith

Associate Advisor

Francoise Dussart

Associate Advisor

Brian Jones

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The primary goal of this dissertation is to explore the nature of cultural change and continuity during the earliest years of colonial interaction in southern New England. It will focus primarily on the Pequot, a Native American polity who in the early 17th-century controlled territories in present-day Connecticut and Rhode Island. The dissertation utilizes a combination of artifactual, ecofactual, spatial, and historical data to elucidate the ways that the Pequot mitigated the harsh realities of early colonial life including during times of war. This dissertation adds substantively to the scholarship of indigenous architecture, household archaeology, cultural entanglement, and native colonial history. This is achieved by way of four distinct chapters, written in an article format for the purposes of individual publication. I begin with an exploration of prehistoric cultural change and continuity in the northeastern region of North America, dating back to around 3,000 years before present. This chapter contextualizes the rest of the dissertation within the 17th-century, where I do various site-specific analyses to specifically interrogate the colonial experience of pre-reservation Pequot society. I explore a new and substantive methodological approach to the study of 17th -century native domestic sites, a theoretical analysis of early colonial encounter, and a diachronic comparative study that reveals the level of cultural transformation experienced by the Pequots between the 1630s and 1670s. These chapters are bookended by a series of research questions designed to assess thematic elements of the dissertation. These questions relate to issues of indigenous architecture, foodways, and the complex adoption of European-made objects into indigenous society.