Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Françoise Dussart, Walter Woodward

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


This thesis, written in the form of two broadly related articles, aims to address questions related to topics of gender, identity, cultural change and continuity, and the materiality of social institutions. Each article investigates how artifacts, as physical objects unintentionally or purposefully discarded, represent and reflect human behavior, societal ideologies, and cultural infrastructures. Using primary sources, archaeological evidence, and linguistic data, each article proposes that certain artifact classes are representative of larger societal ideals and cultural mores, such as gender systems and ways of defining one's gender identity. The first article studies these topics through the analysis of funerary remains from three Pequot and Narragansett burial grounds in southern New England. The second article addresses these research questions by analyzing the value and use of cuprous and ferrous European trade objects in indigenous domestic and military settings.

Major Advisor

Kevin McBride