ISSN 1059-0161, Volume 18, Number 4

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J Archaeol Res (2010) 18:331–385 DOI 10.1007/s10814-010-9040-z

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Household Archaeology in the Southeastern United States: History, Trends, and Challenges
Thomas J. Pluckhahn

Published online: 30 March 2010 Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Abstract This review highlights archaeological investigations of prehistoric and historic households in southeastern North America. There are a number of inherent challenges to the archaeology of households in the region, including generally poor preservation and a long history of relatively insubstantial domestic architecture. An appraisal of the historical development of household archaeology developed slowly in the Southeast, largely in reaction to trends in other areas of the world. Over the last decade, however, southeastern archaeologists have been at the vanguard of the application of new approaches to households. From an early focus on generalizable patterns of domestic activities and behavior, researchers increasingly view households as historical constructs situated within larger landscapes. Prominent areas of concern include enduring issues such as status variation, production, and consumption but also newer themes such as gender, identity and ethnicity, agency and power, and ritual and symbolism. Some of the most innovative studies explore the intersections of these topics. Conceptual and methodological challenges remain, but the household endures as a practical and productive focus of analysis and interpretation for southeastern archaeologists more than 30 years after household research in the area began. Keywords Households Á Southeastern United States Á Status Á Identity Á Agency Á Ritual Á Production

T. J. Pluckhahn (&) Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave, SOC107, Tampa, FL 33620, USA e-mail: tpluckha@cas.usf.edu

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Introduction The subfield of archaeology devoted to households began more than three decades ago. Along the way, household archaeology has contributed to the development of a diversity of theoretical movements—processual and neo-evolutionary, postprocessual, processual plus, historical processual, and selectionist or Darwinian approaches to archaeology. Emerging from settlement pattern studies focused mainly at larger scales, the household persists as a practical and productive level of analysis even as emphasis has shifted to the broader social and spatial scales of community and landscape (Ashmore 2002; Brandon and Barile 2004, p. 6). Commentators have pointed to several advantages the household perspective provides for understanding the human past. First, the household is the fundamental social unit in many human communities (Allison 1999, p. 1; Ashmore and Wilk 1988, p. 1; Franklin 2004, p. xiii; Hirth 1993a, p. 21; Robin 2003, p. 308; Santley and Hirth 1993, p. 3), providing a window on the everyday life of individuals. This articulates well with divergent research interests, from functionalist and behavioralist approaches that focus on patterns of activities, to postprocessual approaches that emphasize contextualized agency and practice. For some, the seeming ubiquity of households also provides a ready-made framework for comparative analyses through time and space (Blanton 1994; Hirth 1993a, p. 21; Wilk and Netting 1984, p. 1). The household is often described as a social formation that can be identified archaeologically (Hirth 1993a, p. 21). This perception stems partly from an overly simplistic equating of households with the material remains of houses (Rogers 1995a, p. 9; Wilk and Rathje 1982, p. 620). It also reflects the recognition that households are social groups with a material presence, defined not only by buildings but also by the remains of routine activities and habitual practices. Many archaeologists subscribe to the widely repeated definition of the household as ‘‘the smallest grouping with the maximum corporate function’’ (Hammel 1980, p. 251), defined to include some combination of production, consumption, reproduction, and coresidence (Ashmore and Wilk 1988, p. 6). Identifying the material correlates of these practices is almost never straightforward (Rogers 1995a, pp. 9–10). Nevertheless, the household is a more discrete and definable unit of analysis than larger and more permeable social formations such as the community or polity (Gerritsen 2004, p. 143; Isbell 2000; Marcus 2000). Next, it has been suggested that the household offers ‘‘a theoretically informed counterweight’’ (Gerritsen 2004, p. 143) to the large-scale systems and processes that are frequently invoked by archaeologists to explain social and cultural change (see also Robin 2003, p. 308; Wilson 2008, p. 8). As Gerritsen (2004, p. 143) notes, these grand narratives by definition refer to temporal and spatial scales that were largely meaningless to the people involved in those changes. For some, an advantage of the household focus is that it allows archaeologists to narrate ‘‘smaller stories’’ that more closely express the lived experiences of past peoples (Gerritsen 2004, p. 143). For others, the household provides a sort of mid-level theory between artifacts and grand narratives, or between people and processes (Wilk and Rathje 1982, p. 617).

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More narrowly, the household affords an alternative to the traditional archaeological focus on elites, monumental architecture, and prestige-goods exchange (Gerritsen 2004, p. 143; Robin 2003, pp. 316–322; Sabloff and Ashmore 2001, p. 22). While the residences of elites are studied as well, ubiquity alone dictates that much of the focus of household archaeology is on commoner households. Further, a significant strand in household archaeology draws comparisons between households to illuminate variation in status, thus ensuring investigation of a range of statuses. Finally, the household is a social formation to which many archaeologists can easily relate. We all have experienced life in some form of household. The same cannot be said for many of the other social formations we study, such as clans, chiefdoms, or even—in increasingly urbanized North America—smaller communities like villages. Households emerged as a research topic among archaeologists in the context of settlement pattern studies of the 1970s and 1980s, principally among scholars working in Mesoamerica (e.g., Ashmore and Wilk 1988, p. 7; Deal 1985; Flannery 1976; Robin 2003, p. 308; Sabloff and Ashmore 2001, p. 22; Wilk and Rathje 1982). The initial interest in households stemmed largely from a desire to better understand the full range of settlement types, seen as a necessary corrective to a long-standing bias toward monumental architecture. Early treatments of households fit squarely in the processual paradigm (Gerritsen 2004, p. 142; Sabloff and Ashmore 2001, p. 22). Households were viewed as basic building blocks of larger social formations, as points of articulation between societies and economic and ecological processes, and as windows on evolutionary change. Since the 1980s, household archaeology has reflected and contributed to the development of the diversity of alternative theoretical approaches commonly subsumed under the banner of postproccesualism. Processual treatments of prehistoric and historic archaeological households have not disappeared; however, essentializing studies have faded in favor of ‘‘more nuanced and interpretive studies that seek to understand people, practices, and meanings in the past’’ (Robin 2003, p. 308). The household has emerged as a prime focus for the consideration of gender and ethnicity, as well as identity more broadly. Households and their members are increasingly invoked as agents both purposive and unwitting. Longer and more detailed accounts of the historical development of household archaeology have appeared in a number of places (Allison 1999; Hendon 1996). More specific treatments have also been presented for a number of different regions, including the Maya area (Robin 2003), western Mesoamerica (Santley and Hirth 1993), Andean South America (Nash 2009), and the coast of the northwestern United States and western Canada (Ames et al. 2008; Sobel et al. 2006). Here I critically assess the theory and practice of household archaeology in the southeastern United States. The archaeology of households in the Southeast faces a number of challenges. In contrast to some areas of the world, households—at least in a restricted sense of a coresident group—may have emerged relatively late in prehistory (see discussion below). In addition, the identification of households in the Southeast is frequently confounded by generally poor preservation conditions and the use of perishable building materials and relatively insubstantial architecture by prehistoric indigenous

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peoples and historic colonizers. Nevertheless, after a slow start, archaeologists in the Southeast have actively engaged the concept of households in new and innovative ways. After briefly reviewing the development of the household approach in the Southeast, I identify six themes in the literature of the past decade: production and consumption, status differentiation, agency and power, gender, ritual and symbolism, and identity and ethnicity. These themes largely mirror the interests of archaeologists studying households in other areas of the world (Robin 2003). Critical examination reveals similarities and differences in the way southeastern archaeologists have approached these themes relative to their colleagues elsewhere, leading to the identification of specific areas in which archaeologists in the Southeast should either read more broadly or, conversely, be more broadly read. Within the community of southeastern archaeologists, I point to areas where prehistoric and historic archaeologists could benefit from greater dialogue. This review complements an earlier overview of the archaeology of prehistoric households in the region by Rogers (1995a), as well as the more recent overview of the archaeology of historic-era households by Brandon and Barile (2004). With the exception of the historical overview, I focus primarily on works published in the last decade. I omit most theses, conference papers, and cultural resource management reports due to their limited accessibility. In doing so, I undoubtedly neglect a significant portion of the active research on households, a point to which I return in the concluding section. To incorporate the diversity of treatments in the literature, I subscribe to a broad definition of the household as an activity group engaging in one or more of the following practices: production, consumption or distribution, reproduction, coresidence, and transmission (Ashmore and Wilk 1988, p. 4; Wilk and Netting 1984, p. 5). Though decidedly functionalist in orientation, this definition moves us away from a formal definition and toward a more flexible focus ‘‘…on the actions and interactions of people through household co-membership and cooperation in a set of practices’’ (Souvatzi 2008, p. 10). As a number of ethnographic studies have demonstrated, coresidence is often but not always associated with households. Young (2003) provides an example of an exception to coresidence in the Southeast with her discussion of the ‘‘abroad marriages’’ known to have taken place among African slaves, wherein married spouses lived on different plantations (reportedly a fairly common occurrence where slaveholdings were smaller, such as Kentucky). Conversely, coresident groups may be composed of multiple households or form parts of larger households. The latter pattern is exemplified in the Southeast by the matrilocal, multiple-family households of the Creeks that are documented ethnographically in the early 20th century (Hally 2008, p. 273; Swanton 1928, pp. 170–171). Although a broad definition of households is necessary to incorporate the diversity of ethnographic and historical forms, this definition may not be practical archaeologically. Certainly, when dwellings are positioned within compounds or arranged tightly around small plazas or courtyards, we may be able to discern the presence of households composed of multiple dwellings (Nash 2009, p. 218). The presence of multiple households within a single dwelling may be identified through

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the presence of redundant cooking, storage, and processing facilities and artifacts (Nash 2009, p. 225). However, if members of a household are dispersed across a settlement or across different settlements, this will be difficult or impossible to identify archaeologically. Nash (2009, p. 224) thus proposes a more restricted definition of the ‘‘archaeological household’’ as a ‘‘…coresidential group that used the occupation surface, features, and the artifact assemblage of a dwelling,’’ with dwelling defined to include one or more structures and both indoor and outdoor spaces. Some scholars in the Southeast have recognized the importance of coresidence as a dimension of archaeological households (e.g., Wesson 2008, pp. 10–13), but the tension between the broader, activity-based definition of household and this more restricted conceptualization focusing on the dwelling and associated artifacts and features runs throughout much of the household archaeology conducted in the region. I return to this issue at several points below. I take a flexible approach to the geographic definition of the Southeast. Among scholars of the native societies of the Southeast, there has been some disagreement regarding the limits of the region (see Smith 1986, p. 2). Hudson (1976, p. 5) defines the Southeast as bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Gulf of Mexico on the south, the dry country beyond the Trinity River in Texas on the west, and the colder climate of the upper Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys on the north (see also Swanton 1946, pp. 11–12). So defined, the region includes the present states of Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as western North Carolina, eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and the portions of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky that border the Mississippi River. Some would extend the boundary to the northeast to incorporate eastern North Carolina, Virginia, and portions of Maryland and West Virginia (Smith 1986, p. 2), a definition I follow in this review where appropriate. This more expansive geographical definition of the region takes on greater relevance with discussion of the historic era, when a plantation political economy extended as far north as Maryland and as far west as eastern Texas (Genovese 1961; Simpkins 1965).

A history of household archaeology in the Southeast Southeastern archaeologists have long expressed interest in houses as temporal, cultural, and evolutionary markers. House patterns appear prominently in the descriptions of various cultural-historical foci, aspects, phases, and complexes (e.g., contributors to Griffin 1952). However, there was little consideration of the social groups that might have lived within these structures. In the rare instances where such consideration was granted, it was usually limited to vague notions of ‘‘family’’ (e.g., Caldwell 1958, p. 9; Lewis and Kneberg 1958, pp. 41, 158; but see Ford et al. 1955, p. 56). Credit for the first contemporary use of the term ‘‘household’’ in the archaeology of the region goes to Milanich (1974), who employed it in reference to his excavations at the Late Woodland Sycamore site in northern Florida. Still, Milanich’s emphasis was on domestic architecture rather than the domestic group. Something more closely resembling an archaeology of households in the sense of a coresident group sharing certain productive and reproductive functions emerged in

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the Southeast in the context of settlement pattern studies of the late 1970s. Perhaps most notable is Smith’s (1978b) work at Gypsy Joint, a Powers phase (A.D. 1250– 1400) (O’Brien 1995, 2001, p. 16) Mississippian site in southeastern Missouri. Smith was concerned with understanding the functional role of a typical ‘‘smallerthan-village’’ site, the smallest segment of the Powers phase settlement hierarchy. The ultimate goal, however, was to develop a predictive model of the cultural system of the Powers phase human population (Smith 1978b, p. 15). Smith excavated two domestic structures and nine pit features in an excavation block measuring around 10,000 m2. Artifact distributions were analyzed to identify activity areas, which were compared to those described in a broad range of ethnohistoric records and cross-cultural ethnographic data sets. Smith concluded that the site represented a ‘‘nuclear family homestead’’ comprising five to seven adult and subadult males and females. In a similar vein, some historical archaeologists in the Southeast began focusing on domestic units to understand larger patterns of settlement and cultural change and diversity. South (1977, pp. 86–87) conceived of households as subsets of larger systems, the latter imposing on each household a degree of uniformity. As Brandon and Barile (2004, p. 4) note, for South this uniformity provided the foundation for the generation of ‘‘household patterns’’ of material culture that could, in turn, be used to formulate still more generalized observations regarding the process of cultural evolution (see South 1977, pp. 2–5). Although less explicitly ‘‘household’’ in perspective, Otto (1975, 1980, 1984) searched for status-related variation in plantation, overseer, and slave housing and material culture at Cannon’s Point Plantation on the coast of Georgia. Otto’s research was framed mainly as a corrective to the biases of written histories, but the contribution to archaeological settlement pattern studies also was noted (Otto 1975, pp. 7–8). These early engagements with archaeological households were products of their time in some respects, but innovative and precocious in others. The normative tendencies were consistent with the aims of processual archaeology. Yet, in adopting the household as a unit of analysis, Smith and South were almost unique among their peers. The landmark volume Mississippian Settlement Patterns (Smith 1978a), for example, contains a few fleeting references to ‘‘households,’’ ‘‘homesteads,’’ and ‘‘farmsteads,’’ but the thrust of the book was understanding larger communities and regions. Indeed, Smith (1978c, pp. 499–500) noted that there were only a dozen excavated examples of the ‘‘homestead settlement type,’’ making it difficult to understand the variety and types of activities that were associated with these settlements or the size and composition of the ‘‘occupying group.’’ In the 1980s, the idea of the household as a productive focus of analysis gained greater currency among southeastern archaeologists. Several early studies in this vein took advantage of artifact assemblages associated with houses that had met catastrophic fates. Hally (1983a, b, 1984, 1986), for example, studied vessel form and use-wear in domestic assemblages from the Little Egypt site in Georgia and compared them to ethnohistoric descriptions to reconstruct the pottery assemblage associated with a Barnett phase (A.D. 1550–1700) Mississippian household. Building on Hally’s work, Shapiro (1984) compared ceramic assemblages from

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Mississippian sites of varying size to understand how vessel size and form correlated with permanence of occupation. Similarly, Pauketat (1987b, 1989) studied ceramics from a burned building at Cahokia and used the data to determine estimates for the length of occupation of Mississippian homesteads. Expanded treatments of the household concept appeared in dissertations focusing on Mississippian households in the hinterlands of Cahokia (Mehrer 1988; Oetelaar 1987), southern Ohio (Nass 1987), eastern Tennessee (Sullivan 1986), and western Kentucky (Stout 1989). Over the next few years, studies employing a focus on prehistoric households appeared in print with greater regularity (e.g., Braun 1991; Hargrave 1991; Nassaney and Hoffman 1992; Pauketat and Woods 1986; Peregrine 1992; Polhemus 1990; Riggs 1989; Smith 1990, 1992; Sullivan 1989). Sullivan (1987) appears to have been the first to make extensive use of the household perspective in the pages of the regional journal, Southeastern Archaeology, with her study of the households of Mouse Creek phase (15th to 16th century) in eastern Tennessee (but see contributions in the same issue by Johnson [1987] and Pauketat 1987b). Historical archaeologists in the Southeast also engaged with archaeological households in the 1980s, albeit perhaps with less regularity than their colleagues studying prehistory. Singleton (1980), Shephard (1984), and King (1990) considered differences in wealth and status among households in antebellum Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland, respectively. Stewart-Abernathy (1986, 1987) applied a household perspective to urban and rural farmsteads in Arkansas. In 1993, Sanders proclaimed that with the appearance of several themed volumes and syntheses, Mesoamerican household archaeology had finally ‘‘come of age’’ (Sanders 1993). If one were to look for such a milestone in the development of household archaeology in the Southeast, the likely candidate would be Mississippian Communities and Households (Rogers and Smith 1995). In his introductory chapter, Rogers (1995a) pointed to five themes (spatial analysis, social dynamics, population dynamics, subsistence, and economic activities) that he saw as characteristic of household studies generally and as currents exemplified in the work of contributors to the volume. Several of the contributors reviewed and summarized earlier research (Mehrer and Collins 1995; Nass and Yerkes 1995; Sullivan 1995). New syntheses and detailed case studies were presented for Mississippian households in the Arkansas Basin of Oklahoma (Rogers 1995b), the Oconee Valley in Georgia (Hatch 1995; Williams 1995), the Black Warrior Valley in Alabama (Mistovich 1995), the Tombigbee Valley in Alabama and Mississippi (Jackson and Scott 1995), and northern Florida (Scarry 1995). Smith (1995, p. 225) noted that about 20 additional Mississippian homesteads had been excavated in the two decades following his work at the Gypsy Joint site, with the majority of these excavations stemming from compliance-related cultural resource management studies. As in the first generation of household archaeology studies more broadly, the southeastern examples from the years up to around 1995 generally displayed decidedly processualist orientations, with attendant functionalist, behavioralist, and evolutionary leanings. Considerable attention was devoted to the spatial organization of domestic activities, with an eye toward the definition of patterns of behavior

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that could be generalized to whole regions or time periods (e.g., King 1990; Nass 1987; Oetelaar 1987; Polhemus 1990, 1998; Stout 1989; Sullivan 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995). Economic and status differentiation constituted the major areas of interest. Historical archaeologists concerned themselves mainly with documenting synchronic variation in status in particular locales (e.g., Otto 1975, 1980, 1984; Singleton 1980), although some also examined variation across time (e.g., King 1990; Singleton 1985). Among prehistoric archaeologists, the household was often viewed as a building block for larger social formations and a useful starting point for understanding changes taking place at larger social, spatial, and temporal scales. Temporal changes were generally framed in terms of social evolutionary stages, particularly the transition from egalitarian to ranked sociopolitical organization (e.g., Mistovich 1995; Peregrine 1992). Some studies applied a more literal evolutionary (Darwinian or selectionist) perspective to households and their material culture (Braun 1991; Hargrave 1991). The building-block approach that characterizes many of the studies from that era has been severely criticized (Cobb 2000, pp. 187–188; McGuire 1992, pp. 159–160; Pauketat 1997b, 2000, 2007; Tringham 1991) and thus merits additional discussion. Polhemus (1990, p. 128) provided what may be the most explicit use of this framework in his analysis of Dallas phase Mississippian households in eastern Tennessee dating from around A.D. 1300 to 1625. He described the archaeological correlate of the household as the ‘‘minimal settlement unit,’’ comprising ‘‘those tangible elements required to maintain a discrete social group within its environment’’ (Polhemus 1990, p. 28). Such households combined to form larger aggregates, which in turn combined to form towns (Polhemus 1990, Figure 20). Similarly, Smith (1992, p. 213) described the ‘‘Hopewellian Household Unit,’’ an economically self-sufficient, nuclear-extended family group that formed ‘‘the basic building blocks of Hopewellian [A.D. 0–200] farming communities.’’ As Pauketat (2000, 2007, pp. 45–46) has argued, the building-block approach reduces households to ‘‘static and uniform organizational units.’’ Variation among households is minimized to facilitate comparison across regions and periods, reducing them to ‘‘faceless, genderless, categories’’ (Tringham 1991, p. 101). These analyses typically define households by economic activities that are removed from their political contexts. Polhemus’s (1990, Figure 20) building-block diagram, for example, describes the town as the ‘‘minimal political unit,’’ thus implying that households were apolitical. This approach leads to the conception of households as self-sufficient, independent, and autonomous (McGuire 1992, p. 160; Pauketat 2007, pp. 45–46). Missing is the realization that ‘‘households are always connected to each other, and penetrated by other affiliations through age, kinship, gender, and class’’ (Wilk 1989, p. 26). A number of studies from that era pointed the way to a more nuanced, historicized, and politicized understanding of archaeological households in the Southeast. Jackson and Scott (1995), through a comparison of faunal remains at two sites in the Tombigbee Valley in Mississippi, built a case for the provisioning of venison to Mississippian elites at major centers by commoners at outlying homesteads. Rogers (1995b) described the manner in which households in the Arkansas Basin became increasingly ‘‘compartmentalized’’ over the course of the

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Mississippian period in relation to changes in kinship structure, the decreasing role of family-level social mechanism, and the expanding role of supralocal forms of control. The clearest break with the processual, building-block approach to households took place among historic archaeologists in the Southeast. Two works are particularly noteworthy. First, Deagan (1983) compared a sample of households in 16th-century St. Augustine stratified by ethnicity and economic status, revealing the important roles that ideology and identity played in the organization of Spanish colonial households. These topics would not gain greater traction in the archaeology of the Southeast for another decade. Next, Leone (1984) studied the estate of William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the wealthiest citizens of colonial-era Annapolis, Maryland. His analysis revealed the manner in which ideology was employed to naturalize relationships of inequality, in this case through its incorporation into the garden surrounding Paca’s house. Of course, as Cobb (2000, pp. 187–188) observes, the divide between the building-block approach and these more historical, contextual perspectives need not be framed in terms of right versus wrong. The former approach provides a framework for comparative studies but obscures potentially important historical variation. The latter perspective has the potential to illuminate subtle variations but is less conducive to comparison. Moreover, even among some who employed a building-block approach, there was a foreshadowing of themes that would soon become more prominent. Polhemus (1990, 1998) and Sullivan (1986, 1987, 1989, 1995), for example, provided an early focus on gender divisions within households. Further, Polhemus (1990, pp. 133–134) noted a strong tendency for Dallas phase structures to be oriented with the direction of the winter solstice, thus inferring a ‘‘level of planning and social control not previously recognized’’ (Polhemus 1990, p. 132). This finding is echoed in recent interpretations of Cahokia, where houses were realigned according to a master plan (Collins 1997; Pauketat 2004a, p. 80). These and other emerging themes found greater voice in Hendon’s (1996) prescient commentary on archaeological approaches to the organization of domestic labor. Drawing from feminist, agency, and practice theories, Hendon called for greater attention to the social actors who formed households, including the discordant relationships among household members divided by age, gender, role, and power. ‘‘The prehistoric and ancient household must be seen as politicized as the modern one,’’ in both its internal and external relations she noted (Hendon 1996, p. 55). In terms of methodology, Hendon (1996, p. 46) argued that rather than continuing to focus on activities alone, archaeologists would do well to recognize the ‘‘idea’’ (or symbolic construction) of the household. Commenting on the tendency toward generalization among household archaeologists, she observed that treating a small sample of dwellings as representative of a time period or region ‘‘begs the issue of variability’’ (Hendon 1996, p. 55). Hendon’s article contains no references to any archaeological studies in the Southeast. This undoubtedly reflects a lower profile for the field of southeastern archaeology relative to today. However, the lack of references to the Southeast also demonstrates the generally conservative nature of the practice of household archaeology in the region before 1996.

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Brandon and Barile (2004, p. 6) have noted that studies conducted under an explicit household perspective seem to have faded in recent years as interest has shifted to the larger social and spatial scales of community and landscape (e.g., Battle 2004a, b; Canuto and Yaeger 2000; Rotman and Savulis 2003; Young 2000). As they also observe, however, many of the studies conducted at broader scales ‘‘still rely on household data or have households deeply embedded in their matrices’’ (Brandon and Barile 2004, p. 6). This is evident in several recent edited volumes on the archaeology of landscapes in the Southeast, wherein households figure prominently and landscape is generally defined in relatively narrow terms such as yards and spaces between houses (Rotman and Savulis 2003; Young 2000). In their commentary on one of these volumes, Mullins and Klein (2000, p. 237) suggest that archaeologists working in urban settings in the Southeast would do well to focus more on households, given the complexities of larger units of analysis like landscape. One measure of continuing interest in households in the Southeast is provided by a search of dissertations that mention ‘‘household’’ and ‘‘archaeology’’ in their abstracts (Figs. 1, 2). This analysis—admittedly imperfect in that it omits several relevant dissertations (e.g., Boudreaux 2005; Pluckhahn 2002; Stine 1989; Young 1995)—points to an increase in the number of studies incorporating households as

Fig. 1 Map of the southeastern United States showing locations mentioned in the text

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Fig. 2 Number of dissertations in southeastern archaeology mentioning the words ‘‘household’’ and ‘‘archaeology’’ in their abstracts (based on search of Dissertation and Theses Database, ProQuest LLC)

units of analysis or interpretation from 1996 to 1999. Since 1999, the pace has slowed but has nevertheless remained steady. Notably, a greater percentage of the dissertations completed from 1996 to the present focus on historic-era households, reversing the trend from 1982 to 1995 that favored studies of prehistoric households. It could be said that southeastern archaeologists have moved from an ‘‘archaeology of households’’ to the archaeological reconstruction of ‘‘pasts with households,’’ reflecting the siting of households within larger social and spatial landscapes rather than as isolated and bounded units of study. Studies focusing primarily on architecture continue (e.g., contributors to Lacquement 2007a), as do analyses seeking to identify general patterns of domestic remains and behavior (e.g., Burks 2004; Gougeon 2002, 2007). Evolutionary approaches to households— particularly those incorporating signaling theory—also continue (e.g., Galle 2006). There is an increasing tendency, however, to look at households ‘‘…not as a stage or level of evolution, or as a fundamental social unit, but as unique historical constructs’’ (McGuire 1992, p. 160). Increasingly, households are granted agency as political—not simply economic or biological—actors. In addition, greater attention is granted to variation both within and among households. This historicized and politicized perspective is applied to many of the same topics that have long characterized studies of archaeological households in the Southeast, such as production, consumption, and status differentiation. However, these themes are increasingly matched by household studies focusing on agency and power, gender, ritual and symbolism, and identity and ethnicity. In the sections that follow, I consider how these themes have been approached by archaeologists

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studying households in the Southeast. These categories structure the discussion but are obviously not mutually exclusive; many of the most interesting studies examine the intersections of these and other themes.

Household production and consumption Production and consumption constitute enduring themes in the archaeology of households. This is to be expected, given that these are two of the functions that archaeologists have traditionally used to define households (Ashmore and Wilk 1988, p. 6). What is notable is that much of the literature on these topics focuses not on domestic subsistence production but on specialized production for exchange. As Hendon (1996, p. 49) notes, this interest stems largely from the role that specialization is assumed to have played in evolution from simple to complex societies. The sponsorship of specialized production and the control of valuables are seen as important components of the legitimation of status and power, two additional areas of household research described in more detail below. The tendency to use specialization as a proxy for social complexity is manifest in early debate regarding possible household craft production at Cahokia (e.g., Muller 1997, pp. 342–346). Briefly, Yerkes’s (1983, 1989) identification of microliths used in the manufacture of shell beads prompted Prentice’s (1983, 1985) suggestion that this production was organized as a ‘‘cottage industry’’ among farmsteads in the American Bottom region of Illinois. This interpretation was rebutted by archaeologists of very diverse theoretical persuasions (Milner 1990; Muller 1984, 1997; Pauketat 1987a, 1997c). The debate broadened to encompass related issues: whether production was truly specialized or simply localized; whether it was undertaken by specialists subsidized by (attached to) elites or by elites themselves; and whether the scale of production rose to the level of ‘‘craft’’ or simply reflected the sort of parttime, auxiliary activities common to households. These arguments were pervaded by broader philosophical divisions regarding the size and complexity of Cahokia. The possibility of specialization also is debated for the Moundville chiefdom on the Black Warrior River in Alabama, dating to the Mississippian period. Welch (1991) suggests that production of certain craft items may have been limited to specialists under the control of elites at Moundville. Blitz (1993) argues that this model is not applicable to contemporaneous polities along the Tombigbee River west of Moundville, finding that ‘‘part-time, low-level production’’ of prestige goods was probably a widespread domestic activity. Welch’s claim (1991, pp. 164– 165) for the centralized production of utilitarian greenstone celts at Moundville is further criticized by Wilson (2001), who argues that the ubiquity of these artifacts in domestic refuse deposits throughout the Black Warrior Valley suggests instead that they were ‘‘common household possessions.’’ Similarly, Marcoux (2007) compares grave goods from contexts associated with the peak of Moundville’s power (around A.D. 1300–1450), finding little support for the existence of a prestige goods economy; instead, production of display goods appears to have been a small-scale practice limited mainly to the context of elite households at Moundville.

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Households figure prominently in arguments regarding specialization at Moundville and Cahokia but by and large only as abstract and homogeneous entities; household-based production was either specialized or not, attached or independent, centralized or dispersed, elite or commoner. More recent approaches grant the possibility of greater diversity in household production and recognize some blurring of these categories (Blitz 1993, pp. 154–155; Cobb 2000, 2003; Trubitt 1996, 2000). Alt (1999), for example, has noted an uneven distribution of spindle whorls in features and sites in the American Bottom during the Lohmann phase (A.D. 1050–1100). She suggests that while fiber production may have been a normal household activity, some households practiced more intensive production than others, perhaps in response to the need for more markers of rank and ritual following the founding of Cahokia. Alt’s study highlights the need to consider not only the diversity of household craft production but also the individual circumstances that can lead to its intensification, a topic too little considered by southeastern archaeologists. As Costin (2001, p. 301) observes, in the case of some households this may involve differential access to resources, exchange networks, or ritual performances, while in other cases specialization was a strategy to cope with the lack of resources and privileges. Even granting that household-based craft production was directed to some degree by the upper echelons of Mississippian societies, recent work outside the region and on other periods within the Southeast suggests that elites are often not uniformly successful in co-opting domestic production systems and that ‘‘artisans can successfully pressure elites and institutions for concessions of many sorts’’ (Costin 2001, p. 308). For example, Galle’s (2004) analysis of the household of an enslaved seamstress at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Plantation reveals a higher abundance of items of personal adornment and recreation not provisioned to slaves. It would thus appear that this seamstress was able to parlay her craft skills into a greater degree of economic autonomy for her household. It would be surprising if Mississippian and earlier households in the Southeast were not equally creative in using artisanal skills to their advantage. The breadth of studies of craft specialization in the Southeast should be enlarged to consider its articulation with domestic production and effects on intrahousehold social relations. Hendon (1996, p. 52) notes that even part-time craft production ‘‘must result in reallocations of time and responsibility for specialists and other household members alike.’’ Thus specialized and domestic tasks should not be treated in isolation from one another (Hendon 1996, p. 55; see also Allison 1999, p. 8, Cobb 2000, pp. 186–189; Costin 2001, p. 310; Hagstrum 2001, pp. 50–51). In the Southeast, this realization is perhaps best exemplified by Thomas’s (1997, 2001) study of the domestic economies at three Mississippian communities in the American Bottom: Dillow’s Ridge, which was involved in the production of Mill Creek chert hoes; Bonnie Creek, which does not appear to have engaged in specialized production for exchange; and the Great Salt Spring, where there is evidence of salt production. Thomas found that hoe production at Dillow’s Ridge did not affect the domestic economy because of the low intensity of production; the work was presumably conducted by men who were less involved in domestic work (see also Cobb 2000, pp. 186–190). However, domestic production was reorganized at Great

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Salt Spring, where women are assumed to have conducted much of the specialized salt production for exchange. Thomas suggests that women there ‘‘streamlined’’ domestic production to meet the increased demands on their labor. Men also may have become more involved in domestic production. The need to dismantle the divide between the domestic and political economies becomes more obvious with the study of households engaged with the modern world system. Several studies have considered the manner in which Creek households in Alabama and Georgia were transformed through articulation with market economies in the colonial era. Waselkov (1994, p. 195) notes that the sudden increase in the demand for deerskins in 1685 led to changes in the organization of household production and the form of domestic architecture, specifically the abandonment of the traditional, semisubterranean winter house (see also Hally 2002, p. 108). Similarly, Scott (2007) considers whether the shift to log homes among Creek Indians at the turn of the 19th century reflects a weakening of the traditional authority of matrilineages in household production and consumption, as might be expected given the greater dispersion of settlements brought on by the adoption of livestock herding. He ultimately concludes that the transition required little change in the actual form or materials of domestic architecture; it may simply represent the manipulation of the outward appearance of structures to conform to European models, while maintaining traditional use of space and material culture within the house. Groover (1998, 2005) analyzes the economic choices made by the residents of the Gibbs farmstead in eastern Tennessee between c. 1792 and 1913. Using a worldsystem perspective, he illustrates how a strategy of rural patrimony emphasizing production over consumption created material continuity in housing and other aspects of material culture. Groover credits this strategy with sustaining four consecutive households in an internal periphery otherwise characterized by high rates of landlessness. Cabak et al. (1999) apply modernization theory to the consumption practices of rural farmsteads of the Aiken Plateau of South Carolina between around 1875 and 1950. Acknowledging criticisms of this theory, they nevertheless argue that modernization provides a useful framework for understanding changes that took place with the emergence of industrialism and consumerism in the late 19th century. Combining archival and archaeological data for a sample of farmsteads stratified by tenure status, Cabak et al. (1999, p. 38) demonstrate that the process of modernization was uneven; historical information demonstrates that ‘‘…not everyone could afford to mechanize their farms or modernize their homes, but the archaeological record clearly illustrates that most people, regardless of tenure class, participated in the mass consumption of inexpensive items, such as soda pop and processed foods, that were being produced by the nation’s expanding factories.’’ Studies such as these are notable not only for transcending the divide between domestic and political economies but also for providing a local context and human dimension to generalized models of broad-scale economic processes. However, they also have a tendency to conceive of households as simply reactive to larger processes and external stimuli. For example, Cabak and colleagues (1999) note that microlevel changes in household material culture occurred well before the

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macrolevel structural changes of modernization spread to the rural study area, without considering possible connections between these processes. Few archaeologists in the Southeast have examined the manner in which changes in household production and consumption may be constitutive of—not simply reflective of—transformations at larger scales. Sassaman’s (1993) work on the adoption of ceramic vessels provides an exception. He suggests that seasonal dispersion of Late Archaic (c. 3000–1000 B.C.) households in the upper Coastal Plain provided opportunities for experimentation with new technologies such as ceramics without the social pressures of conformance that came with life in more aggregated settlements. Reciprocal trade among these dispersed households led to the gradual westward spread of ceramic technology. The increased efficiency of food processing afforded by this technology further increased the economic selfsufficiency of households, contributing to the decline of interregional exchange networks. In a similar manner, Barker (1999) relates household economic production to the often-noted instability of Mississippian chiefdoms. In his critique of the Chayanovian model suggesting that households set production targets based on a balance between the marginal value of each additional unit and the increasing drudgery of production, Barker (1999, p. 14) points out that redistributive buffering suppresses household production for surplus, since ‘‘the drudgery of surplus soon exceeds the perceived risk of underproduction…in an economy that bankrolls households during the occasional bad year.’’ As a result, less surplus is available to elites, resulting in less stability in the prestige-goods economy and more cycling in leadership positions. Barker’s case study of the Coles Creek societies of the Lower Mississippi Valley is perhaps less convincing, but the model is notable for its recognition of the manner in which domestic economies may be constitutive of larger political economies and processes. Studies of domestic production and consumption among the native societies of the Southeast are heavily biased toward households of the Mississippian period (but see Johnson 1987; Sassaman 1993, 2006; Smith 1992). This no doubt reflects better preservation of later prehistoric domestic architecture, as well as a more general topical bias within the field. It also serves to highlight ambiguity regarding definitions of households and the timing of the emergence of these social formations within the prehistory of the Southeast. Of course, under the broad definition described in this article’s introduction, households have been present from the time of earliest human settlement in the region; the band-level societies of the Paleoindian period could be considered households since they presumably shared production and consumption. But the question of how long households have been present in the region remains open if we speak in a more restricted sense of archaeological households as recently described by Nash (2009, pp. 224–225)—i.e., as a subset of the community consisting of a ‘‘coresidential group that used the occupation surface, features, and artifacts associated with a dwelling,’’ and which cooperated in production and consumption. The presence of households in this more restricted sense seems secure for the late Mississippian period, based on ethnographic analogy, limited ethnohistoric data, and relatively secure archaeological evidence (see Hally 2008, pp. 272–309). At what point(s) in the 12 millennia

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preceding the late Mississippian period were production and consumption reorganized from community to smaller, coresident social formations? The identification of isolated, small structures with cooking and storage facilities at Late Archaic sites such as Mill Branch in Georgia suggests the presence of archaeological households as the basic economic unit in some areas of the Southeast well before the Mississippian period (Sassaman and Ledbetter 1996, p. 94). Mill Branch was only seasonally occupied, however, leaving open the possibility of larger coresident groups and more communal production at other times of the year. Sassaman (2006, p. 112) presents evidence of a transition from communal to more permanent household-level production and consumption of mast resources in the context of increasing sedentism at Stallings Island and related Late Archaic sites in the middle Savannah River Valley. The argument is based on the appearance of clusters of storage features tightly packed around narrow plazas to form circular ‘‘compounds’’ (Sassaman 2006, pp. 94–104). Sassaman interprets these feature clusters as individual households, a reasonable assumption given that each contains its own hearth and storage pits. The small size and close spacing of these houses, however, could be interpreted as evidence that they continued to function cooperatively in basic productive tasks (e.g., Pauketat [2000, p. 32] on preMississippian house clusters at Cahokia). The identification of domestic architecture from the Early (1000–500 B.C.) and Middle (500 B.C. to A.D. 500) Woodland periods has proved difficult in many parts of the Southeast (Clay 2002; Cowan 2006; Smith 1992, 2006; but see Faulkner 2002). Pacheco and Dancey (2006, p. 6) assume that households from these periods in the Ohio Valley consisted of single, or possibly extended, family units. For the American Bottom, Peregrine (1992) interprets the large, curvilinear houses arranged around central plazas as the residences of individual, extended families coordinated as joint economic units. Cobb and Nassaney (2002, p. 538), based on a perceived lack of substantial houses or planned communities during the Early and Middle Woodland periods, argue that the ‘‘institutionalization’’ of domestic space (presumably including household-based production and consumption) did not occur until the subsequent Mississippian period (Cobb and Nassaney 2002, p. 539). Evidence for domestic architecture is more secure for the Late Woodland period, particularly in the American Bottom where Kelly’s (1990b; Kelly et al. 1987) FAI270 excavations were extensive enough to result in the identification of numerous houses and whole community patterns. Small ‘‘keyhole’’ structures became common in the American Bottom by the Patrick phase (A.D. 600–700) (Kelly 1990b), and similar domestic architecture is occasionally found on sites farther south (Jenkins and Krause 1986; Pluckhahn 2003). These keyhole structures are arranged in clusters at sites in the American Bottom (Kelly 1990b; Kelly et al. 1987). Peregrine (1992) interprets this as evidence for the emergence of lineage compounds—several extended families from the same lineage functioning as a joint economic unit and thus possibly functioning as a single, large household. By the Early Mississippian period in the American Bottom, larger rectangular houses were arranged linearly in villages (Kelly 1990a, b; Kelly et al. 1989), a pattern taken to represent the emergence of individual nuclear or extended families as the basic economic unit (Peregrine 1992). Following Flannery (1972, 2002),

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Peregrine relates these changes to a general trend toward the attenuation of the household as the basic economic unit in the evolution of complex societies, arguing that this ‘‘promotes competition in production and the emergence of intensification and social stratification’’ (Peregrine 1992, pp. 141–142). Rogers (1995b, pp. 92–98) makes a similar case for a reduction in the size of Mississippian households (from multiple family to single family) in the Arkansas Basin, correlating this with the general tendency toward the centralization of authority in more complex societies. Similarly, but without reference to evolutionary theory, Pauketat (1997b, 2000, pp. 33–35) implicates the emergence of households as an economic unit disarticulated from larger kin groups (but now attached to political patrons) as a transformative juncture in the historical development of Cahokia. Together, these studies suggest a fundamental change in the organization of domestic production during the Mississippian period, perhaps including the development of nuclear family households as a basic economic unit (this may correlate with an emphasis on the social identity of households, as indicated by ritual rebuilding and subfloor inhumation, discussed in more detail below). Nevertheless, it seems clear that coresidential households emerged as units of production in one form or another earlier in the Southeast (Sassaman 1993, 2006; Sassaman and Ledbetter 1996), perhaps at several junctures. Pauketat (1997b, p. 636) observes that ‘‘…measures of the emergence of households as economic units can be partly obscured by using the concept of household too liberally,’’ a point well taken. However, the same perhaps could be said of defining the concept of household too narrowly—in terms of coresident nuclear families operating more or less independently economically on a year-round basis. Additional research may benefit from viewing the emergence of the household economic unit as a continuum along the lines of sedentism (Fletcher 2007; Kelly 1992) and horticulture (Harris 1989). This might entail recognition of households as units of production and consumption only at certain times of the year or in particular social contexts (Nash 2009, p. 218; Pyburn 2008, p. 117; Sassaman 1993). It also requires us to acknowledge that households emerged and reemerged at several times and places in the prehistory of the Southeast rather than in a neat evolutionary or historical progression. Such a view does not, however, deny that the emergence of a particular form of household—as was apparently the case in the Mississippian period—may represent a profound transformation in the organization of production (see Fletcher 2007, p. 166; Hartman 2004).

Household status As noted above, status differentiation is a principal topic among archaeologists studying households, including those working in the southeastern United States. Status figured prominently in the early archaeological treatments of both historic (King 1990; Shephard 1984; Singleton 1980) and prehistoric (Nass 1987; Polhemus 1990; Sullivan 1986, 1987, 1989, 1995) households in the region. Commonly cited archaeological indicators of status differentiation in households include house size, architectural design, and artifact assemblages. Higher-status

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households are generally expected to be larger than lower-status ones because they have more members, control more resources, and provide more special functions (Hirth 1993b, p. 123). As a result, elite houses are expected to be larger than nonelite households, to exhibit more extravagant construction, and perhaps to contain special-purpose facilities. In addition, the material goods associated with higher-status households are expected to exhibit greater quantity, quality, and diversity than those associated with commoner houses (Hirth 1993b, pp. 124–125). These expectations have not always matched archaeological reality. Hirth (1993b, p. 122) notes that archaeologists are generally more successful in reconstructing relations of power than they are in identifying categories or levels of rank. One reason is that social status is frequently expressed along a continuum; the differences may be great from one extreme to the other but relatively minor between points closer along the continuum. Thus it is not surprising that southeastern archaeologists looking for variation in status at the extremes of highly stratified societies have found the task relatively straightforward; in other cases the task has proved more challenging. Looking first to the extremes, clear differences in status have been noted in the housing and associated material remains associated with planters, overseers, and slaves on antebellum plantation sites in the Southeast (Lewis 1985; Michie 1987; Moore 1985; Otto 1975, 1980, 1984). Such differences also have been observed among elite, middle-class, and slave households in urban contexts (Reitz 1987; Zierden 1999; Zierden and Calhoun 1990). Franklin (1997, p. 2) has criticized these sorts of studies for their ‘‘obsessions with elucidating status-related markers that essentially gave us information that we already had, i.e. enslaved peoples had less material things than slave owning whites.’’ More recent research on status differentiation among historic households in the Southeast recognizes that the expression of status and wealth variation may be subtle, or at least that the evidence from material culture may be mixed. Cabak and Groover’s (2006) work at Bush Hill Plantation near Aiken, South Carolina, provides a case in point. Block excavations at the plantation home, inhabited by four generations of a wealthy family between c. 1807 and 1920, reveal a preference for inexpensive household items rather than the luxury goods assumed to be typical of genteel southern society. On the other hand, the density of artifacts suggests a pattern of aggressive consumerism by the Bush family. In a similar vein, Gibb’s (1994) comparison of households associated with two 17th-century plantations in southern Maryland suggests that their dwellings were relatively small and minimally differentiated in terms of task specialization. Archival data indicate that wealth was invested primarily in new lands rather than in the house or plantation. However, several land-rich neighbors apparently had larger households with task-specific spaces, consistent with the general expectations cited above. Veech (1998) examines the ways in which distinctions in status are manifested in the material record of mid-18th-century Virginia, a context notable for the sudden availability of luxury goods at mercantile stores. No longer able to maintain a distinction between themselves and social aspirants through material possessions alone, the gentry responded by emphasizing esoteric rules of style and refinement.

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Veech compares household assemblages associated with gentry, wealthy social aspirants, and wealthy nonaspirants. He finds that wealth alone was insufficient grounds for claims to status; although wealthy social aspirants possessed many of the same luxury goods as gentry, they were unfamiliar with the genteel rules of behavior guiding the display and use of those goods. These studies illustrate the manner in which expressions of status are complicated by larger political and economic structures and particular historical circumstances. In the archaeology of the historic-era Southeast, another example is provided by work on households of the late 19th century, when the development of mass production resulted in the ready availability of items of popular culture. Cabak et al. (1999, p. 38) compared architecture and artifacts associated with a sample of farmsteads from that era in the Aiken Plateau of South Carolina stratified by tenure class, finding that consumption of items of popular culture was not affected by socioeconomic standing. However, other aspects of the built environment, such as housing styles and the number of outbuildings, were correlated with wealth and tenure status. The complexities observed in the expression of status differentiation among historic households suggest that the task of identifying status-related variation should be even more difficult for the prehistoric societies of the Southeast, given that such differences were arguably less institutionalized in Mississippian chiefdoms than they were in the plantation-era South or the increasingly industrialized southern cities of the Gilded Age. Consistent with this, a number of recent studies have suggested that status differences among prehistoric households were either minimal or minimally expressed. Wilson (2005, 2008), for example, finds that early Mississippian households at Moundville varied little in the size, shape, or style of their domestic structures. Differences in domestic pottery assemblages were slight. He concludes that variations in status and wealth among households were ‘‘downplayed in everyday life’’ (Wilson 2008, p. 129). Wilson (2008, p. 130) takes heed of the apparent contradiction between the relative equality of households and the elitism expressed in mound ceremonialism and mortuary ritual. He argues that these limited expressions of status differentiation were a means by which kin groups could increase the prestige of their leaders relative to other clan heads. Wilson suggests an increase in the status differentiation of households in later Moundville phases, after around A.D. 1200. Michals (1998) found a similar pattern in a comparison of artifact assemblages from three sites in the Black Warrior River Valley (a rural farmstead, a single mound site, and Moundville itself); status differences were muted in Moundville I (A.D. 1050–1250) and became more pronounced in Moundville II (A.D. 1250–1400). Contrary to the situation at Moundville, Pauketat (1994) identifies a bimodal distribution of house sizes in early Mississippian phases at Cahokia. Larger structures are associated with households at the northern end of the main plaza. These households also generally include special-purpose facilities such as sweat lodges. Trubitt (1996, 2000), however, argues that this trend is not borne out by her larger comparison of 142 household units from 21 sites in the American Bottom. She finds that the predicted relationship between larger households and higher status

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is weak in the early history of Cahokia, before A.D. 1200, and takes exception with interpretations positing strong social differentiation and political hierarchy at the time Cahokia was founded. With similar interests as Trubitt and Wilson, Gallivan (1999) compares 147 house patterns and 616 features from 33 settlements in the James River area of Virginia. He finds a critical change in the organization of households and villages around A.D. 1200–1500. First, storage pits were more commonly placed inside houses as time progressed. Second, house size increased and became more variable. Household control of surplus, he argues, led to new funds of power and contributed to the institutionalization of social inequality. Many of these studies posit an increase in the differentiation of households in the transition from early to late Mississippian, around A.D. 1200. Does this represent a change in the organizational structure of Mississippian societies across a broad area of the Southeast, such that households became more clearly ranked by status? Or, instead, were the differences among households simply more overtly marked? Alternatively, was status expressed differently by earlier Mississippian households, perhaps in ways not amenable to the broad-scale comparisons characteristic of many of these studies? Hally’s (2008) work at the late Mississippian King site in northwestern Georgia illustrates the ways household status may be manifested in subtle ways discernible only through finer-grained analyses. Hally compares the histories of six households at King. One has a single primary domestic structure and is interpreted as the household of a single conjugal family. The other five have two or more primary domestic structures and seemingly comprised (at least in their later histories) multiple conjugal families. Based on the spatial arrangement and size of domestic structures, the number of rebuilding episodes, and other evidence such as grave goods, Hally (2008, p. 528) interprets three or four of them as the households of the original founders of the community, and thus ‘‘among the most prestigious and highest ranking in the community.’’ One household in particular was clearly differentiated; Hally suggests it might have been the household of the town chief or his matriline (Hally 2008, p. 532). Hally’s work highlights the importance of historical factors in the creation of household status (Hally 2008, pp. 525–526; see also Carter 1984; Welch 2006, pp. 227–239). Relatedly, it suggests that detailed, microhistorical analyses may divulge differences in status obscured by broad-brushed comparisons. The King site research also points to the benefits of decoupling wealth and status (still recognizing that they are often mutually reinforcing); careful attention to the context of grave goods at King, for example, reveals that shell beads were probable indicators of wealth while shell gorgets were not (Hally 2008, p. 531). Hally’s research also serves as a reminder that studies of Mississippian households have tended to focus on points closer together along the continuum of status differentiation rather than the extremes. With the exception of the King site, the households of Mississippian chiefs have received surprisingly little attention. Payne’s (2002) review of a sample of structures on top of Mississippian mounds reveals that they are twice as large on average as structures from nonmound contexts (she acknowledges, however, that many may have been temples rather than houses).

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Likewise, Gougeon (2006) notes the significantly larger size of a domestic structure on top of a mound at the Little Egypt site in northern Georgia relative to two structures in the adjacent village. However, Gougeon finds that despite the larger size of its domestic structure, the elite household was structured much the same in terms of the types of household activities that were represented and their spatial organization. Greater attention to the histories of Mississippian households and to the opposing poles of status differentiation would likely mitigate the interpretation that these households were fundamentally similar and self-sufficient. Judging from the work of their colleagues studying historic-era households, archaeologists of the Mississippian era would do well to consider the possibility that social aspirants directed their energies to other strategies for increasing the social positioning of themselves and their households (i.e., beyond investing in larger houses or luxury goods) (see also Wilk 1983). Finally, studies of status differentiation in the prehistoric Southeast have focused almost exclusively on the households of the Mississippian period. One exception is my own (Pluckhahn 2002, 2003) examination of changes in status differentiation over the course of the Middle to Late Woodland transition at the Kolomoki site in Georgia. Based on the appearance of new vessel forms and decorations, I argue that status distinctions were more overtly expressed in the material culture of households in the Late Woodland period, at the same time that mound building and ceremonialism began to wane. The examination of temporal changes in household status across this and other critical junctures, such as the Late Woodland to Mississippian transition, would seem a fruitful topic for additional research.

Household agency, power, and resistance The corpus of household archaeology completed in the Southeast over the last decade displays increasing concern with issues of agency, power, and practice. Paralleling broader developments in archaeology, these studies evince greatly divergent conceptions of these themes. Perhaps the most vexing question for southeastern archaeologists has been the degree of agency that should be granted to households in the face of the constraints imposed by hegemonic economic and political forces. Two opposing answers to this question are clearly expressed in the debate regarding the relative autonomy of Mississippian farmsteads in the American Bottom. Based on an extensive study of sites excavated during the FAI-270 project, Mehrer (1995; Mehrer and Collins 1995) challenges the traditional assumptions that these rural commoner households were tightly controlled by elites at Cahokia. Noting that the emergence of isolated households during the Stirling phase had been accompanied by the development of internal storage facilities, Mehrer (1995, p. 145) argues that these farmsteads exercised a substantial degree of privacy and autonomy over their own subsistence. He recognizes a hierarchy of rural farmsteads headed by ‘‘nodal’’ households, interpreted as the homes of locally prominent families who served as part-time ceremonial specialists (Mehrer 1995, p. 166). He

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also suggests that rural households developed this hierarchy ‘‘among themselves based on the civic and mortuary ceremonialism that helped to integrate them as a community’’ (Mehrer 1995, p. 145). For Mehrer, the presence of these nodal households serves as evidence that social power was only weakly centralized in rural communities. While granting that ‘‘regional elites must have had considerable effect on the religious, economic, and social climate of the dispersed communities,’’ Mehrer (1995, p. 145) argues that much of the day-to-day life at isolated farmsteads was not closely regulated. Examining much the same data as Mehrer, Emerson (1997a, b) arrives at a much different interpretation regarding the autonomy of farmsteads in the hinterlands of Cahokia. Like Mehrer, he also sees nodal settlements integrating the dispersed rural populations (Emerson 1997a, pp. 156–176). Also like Mehrer, he believes these served as both residences and civic-ceremonial centers. But where Mehrer sees hierarchy developing organically from rural farmsteads themselves, Emerson sees the guiding hand of elites at Cahokia. Specifically, he argues that ‘‘rural elite must have been directly appointed by the Cahokian paramount’’ (Emerson 1997a, p. 186). Thus, contrary to Mehrer, he believes that Cahokian elite ‘‘exerted considerable power over the daily existence of the common people’’ (Emerson 1997a, p. 187). Pauketat and Emerson (Emerson 1997a, p. 187; Pauketat 1997b, p. 636, 2000; Pauket and Emerson 1997) suggest that what Mehrer and others have interpreted as household autonomy may instead be the historical consequence of political subordination. Specifically, they argue that the appearance of isolated farmsteads early in the history of Cahokia marks their attachment as clientele to political patrons. Elites deliberately manipulated commoners’ attitudes regarding their own autonomy through the ‘‘imposition of hegemony in the ‘guise of communalism’ ’’ (Emerson 1997a, p. 187; see also Pauketat and Emerson 1997). The idea that households could be manipulated into subservient relationships through appeals to their common good has intuitive appeal for explaining the origins of hierarchical social ranking from less stratified social formations. Moreover, as Emerson (1997a, pp. 187–188) argues, the portrayal of rural farmsteads as more or less autonomous in their day-to-day affairs seems ‘‘incongruous within the context of the small areal extent of the American Bottom and the power of the hierarchically organized Cahokian polity.’’ Nevertheless, the notion that there was a ‘‘total expropriation of power, both civic and religious, from commoners’’ (Emerson 1997a, p. 258) seems overwrought. It is consistent with many early treatments of agency that tended to treat elites as active and commoners as passive (Dornan 2002; Robin 2003, p. 320). More practically, it ignores the fact that some degree of autonomy over the scheduling of domestic tasks is essential for the persistence of households through time (Hagstrum 2001, p. 48). More recently, Emerson and Pauketat (2002, p. 109) appear to moderate their position to allow for resistance among some households to the domination of the Cahokian elite. This strategy of opposition to the cultural creation of Cahokia, described as the ‘‘Richland resistance’’ (after the Richland tract in Cahokia’s periphery), is manifested in the retention of traditional practices, including the continued use of semisubterranean post structures at the same time the new wall trench style was replacing that form at Cahokia. In terms perhaps suggestive of the

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forging of a middle ground with Mehrer, Pauketat and Alt (2003, pp. 166–167) observe that households in the Richland tract ‘‘appear to have retained a good deal of autonomy in their everyday routines,’’ even if their proximity to Cahokia proper ‘‘was insufficiently great to impart any real political autonomy.’’ This dialectical view of power—a recognition of both the power to dominate and the power to resist this domination—has found greater elaboration in the historical archaeology of the Southeast. A great deal of this work, while not explicitly framed as household archaeology, draws comparisons between households to illuminate differential expressions of power and acts of resistance to relationships of oppression. Thomas (1998), for example, contrasts the material remains of slave dwellings from different areas of the Hermitage Plantation to explain how power relationships were variably expressed. He notes that slave dwellings nearest the mansion were more formal and that the slaves living in that area had access to more expensive and presumably more valued ceramics. Yet the distribution of domesticated meat did not fit the pattern, suggesting that slave owners did not exert as much control over some commodities. The prevalence of artifacts such as beads, harmonica parts, combs, and ammunition in some dwellings suggests that slaves at the Hermitage further resisted domination through their participation in a cash economy outside the plantation. The cellars below African-American slave dwellings in the Southeast (particularly in Virginia and Kentucky) have received considerable attention as testimony to the negotiation of power among slaves and between slaves and slave owners (Galle 2004; Kelso 1984; Kimmel 1993; McKee 1992; Samford 1994, 2007; Singleton 1996; Young 1997). These pits appear to have been used for a variety of purposes, in some cases functioning as root cellars for preservation of fruit and vegetables, in other cases serving as personal storage spaces (especially in non-kinbased households), as ‘‘hidey holes’’ for stolen or pilfered goods, or as shrines. Whatever their purpose, the presence of these cellars suggests that slaves and slave households maintained some degree of property, space, and subsistence (Young 1997, p. 95). Relations of power also have received attention by archaeologists studying historic-era Native American households in the Southeast. Wesson (1997, 2001, 2002, 2008) considers changes in the autonomy of households among the Upper Creek in Alabama in the period just before to several centuries after contact with Europeans. Melding Bourdieu’s (1977) notions of habitus and symbolic capital with Gramsci’s (1971) concept of hegemony, Wesson argues that precontact households were dominated by an elite whose hegemony was supported by their control of prestige goods and sacred landscapes. Contrary to the commonly held assumption that the power of Mississippian chiefs declined rapidly with depopulation brought on by European diseases in the 1500s, Wesson argues that chiefly power continued largely unabated through the period of initial contact. The key transformation occurred instead during the subsequent ‘‘trade period’’ (beginning around 1600) as native prestige goods were selectively replaced by those of European manufacture. The increased availability of these goods provided a mechanism for households seeking to challenge the hegemony of elites. Wesson sees evidence for this in the

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increased frequency of luxury items in burials and in the greater number and size of domestic storage facilities. Resistance in Wesson’s analysis consists mainly of secondary elites attempting to emulate the leaders of their own communities. More often, however, resistance by native peoples of the historic era is conceived in terms of the maintenance of traditions in the face of colonial hegemonies. Thus Scarry (2001) infers resistance to Spanish colonialism from the material culture of historic Apalachee households. Specifically, he argues that the retention of traditional Apalachee round, unpartitioned houses in contradistinction to Spanish architectural styles reflects a repudiation of Spanish power and ideals, especially the subordination of women. Similarly, Rodning (2009) suggests that consistency in the spatial arrangements and alignments of 17th- and early 18th-century Cherokee households at the Coweeta Creek site in southwestern North Carolina fostered a sense of place that served as a form of cultural persistence and resistance to the destabilizing influences of European colonization. On the other hand, Marcoux (2008, pp. 357–358) sees the lack of formality and rebuilding of houses at the Townsend site, a late 17th- and early 18th-century Cherokee community, as evidence of ‘‘…short-term strategies that emphasized flexibility and improvisation.’’ Studies such as these employing a more dialectical view of power can be credited with granting greater agency to the households of segments of the population often neglected in historical accounts or contemporary interpretations, or both. However, dichotomies such as elite and disenfranchised, dominant and dominated, are too simplistic to capture the range of variation in most historical circumstances (Bell 2002, pp. 258–259; Thomas 2002, p. 47; Young 1999, p. 66). Moreover, power and resistance are often invoked in all-encompassing terms. Several recent studies of historic-era households point to more subtle variation in relationships of domination and resistance. Based on her comparison of colonial-era domestic architecture and material culture in the Virginia Piedmont, Bell (2002, p. 289) suggests that while resistance may have been a shrewd strategy for members of truly subordinate groups, those of ‘‘middling’’ status stood a better chance of advancing their position by emulating local leaders. Similarly, Galle’s (2004) analysis of the material remains of several of the same enslaved households at the Hermitage previously studied by Thomas (1998) reveals that the expression of agency may be more complicated and idiosyncratic than previously assumed. Based on the much higher abundance of sewing equipment, Galle identifies one of the dwellings at the Hermitage as the household of a seamstress, probably that of Gracy Bradley. Comparison of this to other slave households at the Hermitage indicates that Bradley and her husband (Albert Jackson, Andrew Jackson’s wagoner) had much greater access to nonprovisioned items of personal adornment and recreation, probably as a result of their privileged positions in social and economic networks. These treatments exemplify the way that ‘‘power is relational and continually in process, is enabling, as well as constraining, and is constitutive of identity and understanding’’ (Thomas 2002, p. 47). In doing so they offer a corrective to studies emphasizing only the agency of elites. However, they also run the risk of understating the constraints imposed on commoner households by more powerful individuals and institutions. As Scott (2004, p. 8) suggests, it is important to think

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carefully about ‘‘portraying African American men and women as active shapers of their lives without denying the constraints of slavery and societal racism in which they lived.’’ The constraints placed on household agency are not restricted to the plantation-era South, however. Wilk’s (1983, pp. 112–113) ethnographic studies demonstrate the constraints placed on the agency of households by the threat of community sanctions, a lesson applicable to much of the prehistoric and early historic Southeast. Southeastern archaeologists have devoted considerably less attention to relationships of power within households. One exception is Stewart-Abernathy (2004), who describes how detached kitchens provided segregation in 19th-century southern households that reinforced the subservience of slave women (and women’s work in general) through the habitus of daily life. Barile (2004b) studies the way in which South Carolina ‘‘household complexes’’ were reorganized to reinforce hegemonic relationships in light of slave uprisings. In this case, however, the household complex refers to the plantation as a whole. There is logic to the conceptualization of plantation-as-household; historian Fox-Genovese (1988, pp. 95, 100) also makes this case, pointing out that slaves were considered property, that much of the production and consumption on the plantation was shared, and that slave owners often stated their vision of the plantation as a single household in statements like ‘‘my family white and black.’’ Whether slaves themselves would have considered themselves part of a singular ‘‘plantation household’’ is less clear. Certainly, archaeologists who adopt the perspective of the plantation household or household complex should be mindful of understating the efforts of slaves to maintain some degree of autonomy over their own domestic activities. As Sullivan (2001, p. 105) notes, treatments of power relationships within households and domestic kin units of the prehistoric Southeast have been ‘‘damped’’ by the emphasis on public, political arenas. My colleagues and I consider the manner in which an episode of small-scale, household-level feasting at the Woodland period site of Kolomoki may have benefitted some members of the domestic group over others (Pluckhahn et al. 2006). The issue could be addressed only in relatively abstract terms, reflecting the difficulty of identifying the material expressions of power among members of a single, coresident household. Nevertheless, many of the households of the late prehistoric Southeast appear to have consisted of multiplefamily groups residing in separate structures (Hally 2008, pp. 272–273), providing a potentially productive—but as yet largely unexplored—forum for the investigation of intrahousehold relations of power.

Households and gender Gender has constituted a major area of research in household archaeology in the Southeast since work on households began in earnest in the 1980s. Early treatments focused mainly on the manner in which gender-based tasks could be identified through the spatial patterning of particular classes of artifacts within households (e.g., Polhemus 1998; Sullivan 1986, 1987, 1995). Patterns identified in a sample of households were then often generalized to particular phases and periods. Work in

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this vein continues in the Southeast, albeit with a greater recognition that genderbased activities are not usually so firmly fixed (e.g., Gougeon 2002). Recent research pays greater attention to the manner in which gender roles were constructed and expressed in particular contexts (Allison 1999, p. 10; Beaudry 2004; Fesler 2004a, 2004b, p. 180; Pyburn 2004, pp. 4–5, 2008; Wurst 2003). As a result, the gendered, internal relations of households are increasingly considered a dimension of larger socioeconomic and political processes (Brumfiel and Robin 2008, p. 4; Spencer-Wood 2004). This makes it difficult to discuss gender as a separate strain in household archaeology in the Southeast but points to the extent to which gender has been incorporated into the contemporary practice of household archaeology in the region. Historical archaeologists in the Southeast have taken the lead in these new approaches to gender. This may in part reflect an additional measure of confidence in the interpretation of gender roles supplied by archival data. Conversely, as Pyburn (2008, p. 122) has recently argued, it may result from our increased cognizance of the inadequacy of facile gender stereotypes when they are applied to the more recent past. Much of the recent work focuses on gender-based relations within and between households in the antebellum South, perhaps in response to Conkey’s (1991, p. 29) earlier critique of an ‘‘eerie silence’’ on the topic of gender from practitioners of African-American archaeology. I mentioned above StewartAbernathy’s (2004) work on the detached kitchens of southern slave households and the role these facilities may have played in reinforcing the subservience of slave women. Works such as this serve as reminders that conflicts and inequalities are inherent components of gendered social relations within households (Wurst 2003, p. 234). Recent works also pay heed to the ways gender roles may be complementary and cooperative. Several recent studies examine the gender-specific task groups that bonded slave households into mutually supportive social networks. Young (2003) compares the assemblages associated with three slave households at Locust Grove Plantation in Kentucky, finding that women of separate households participated in reciprocal gift giving. Her analysis of faunal remains from slave households at Saragossa Plantation in Mississippi suggests that men maintained support networks through the practice of communal hunting. Battle (2004a) posits similar cooperation in the form of the sharing of domestic chores by enslaved women of neighboring households at the Hermitage Plantation, based on the distribution of artifacts and features in spaces between households. Young (2004) contrasts the roles and strategies employed by enslaved women in the private spaces of their own homes and the public domain of the household of the plantation owner. Based on historic documents from Oxmoor Plantation in Kentucky, she argues that in the context of their work as domestic servants for the plantation owner, women employed gendered kin terminology to protect the interests of their families, often in opposition to the interests of other slave families. This contrasts with the cooperative networks forged among women in the contexts of their own households, as described above (Young 2003). Young’s research is significant for the recognition that the expression of gender roles and relationships

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may vary in different contexts. It also highlights the ways in which such roles and relationships can be mutual and conflictual at the same time (see also Wurst 2003). The intersection of gender and ethnicity has been examined in several recent studies of historic households in the Southeast, including Fesler’s (2004a, b, p. 182) research at Utopia, an early 18th-century quartering site in Virginia. Fesler’s principal question is whether the living arrangements were built on African models or, at least in part, on a template imposed by the owner of the plantation. He evaluates the material remains from three households to assess whether living quarters were organized as kin-based households, single-sex barracks, or a house compound arrangement similar to those found at the time in West and Central Africa. The evidence is largely inconclusive, but the study is noteworthy for its attention to the way in which domestic structures and household composition shape and are in turn shaped by gender roles and ethnicity. Samford (2004) examines the relationship between ethnicity and the roles played by men and women in domestic production in slave households in Virginia. She notes that among the Igbo of West Africa (one of the primary groups brought to work on plantations during the 18th century), the household was a matricentric unit consisting of a woman and her children, often arranged with one or more other household units in a male-headed compound. Men and women had complementary roles in supplying food for the household, with men controlling the production and distribution of yams and women producing most of the other dietary staples. Samford sees continuity in these roles in the slave households of early historic Virginia. The complementarity of men’s and women’s political roles receives consideration in work by Rodning and VanDerwarker on historic Cherokee households at the Coweeta Creek site (Rodning 2001a, b; Rodning and VanDerwarker 2002). They find that the graves of the oldest women were preferentially located in and beside houses in the village. In contrast, many more adult men than women were buried in the public townhouse. This pattern is interpreted as a reflection of ‘‘…the privileged access of women and men in this community to different kinds of power, primarily through men’s involvement in the practice of diplomacy and war between towns and women’s roles as leaders of matrilineal clans and households within towns’’ (Rodning and VanDerwarker 2002, p. 7); ‘‘these complementary forms of power in events and activities…took place primarily within the settings of public and household architecture, respectively.’’ The complementarity of both racial and gender identities is evident in Greene’s (2009) study of the Welch family plantation, a post-Removal household in southwestern North Carolina headed by a white woman (Betty) and her Cherokee husband (John). Artifact assemblages suggest an association of mass-produced, purchased items with women’s activities and an association of handmade items with men’s activities. Greene (2009, p. 171) argues that ‘‘the ‘inferior race’ of one was used to elevate the gender of another,’’ a conscious subversion of traditional roles that allowed the Welch family to keep their farm in spite of Removal. Gender continues to be a topic of concern for those studying prehistoric households in the Southeast, as noted above (Alt 1999; Thomas 1997, 2001). In general, however, the number of studies addressing gendered relations within and

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between prehistoric southeastern households appears to have diminished in recent years. This apparent reticence may reflect criticisms of the first generation of household studies for their ‘‘implicit assumptions’’ regarding gender roles, including the uncritical presumption of gender-based artifact associations and the imposition of Western, binary-gender oppositions (Allison 1999, p. 10; Pate 2004; Pyburn 2004, 2008; Tringham 1991; Wurst 2003). Nevertheless, the work by historical archaeologists in the region should provide inspiration for inquiries regarding gender roles in prehistoric households. For example, following on the works by Young (2003) and Battle (2004a), greater attention could be devoted to genderspecific task groups and relationships that crosscut and bound together prehistoric households. The research by Stewart-Abernathy (2004) suggests the way that the spatial divisions of domestic work may reinforce hierarchies based on gender. Addressing such issues will require archaeologists studying prehistoric households to focus more attention on the spaces around and between prehistoric houses. Although historic archaeologists have taken the lead on new approaches to gender in households, there is room for improvement here as well. As Scott (2004, p. 8) notes, much of the literature focuses on women, leaving room for consideration of male gender roles. More broadly, no substantive work of household archaeology has considered alternative genders and sexual identities (Meskell 2007; but see Pauls 2005 and Prine 2000 on earthlodges in Plains villages). Brandon (2004, p. 207) calls for more research on the intersection of race and gender, noting that household-level archaeology in the ‘‘antebellum/postbellum continuum’’ affords a good opportunity. Surprisingly little attention has been devoted to changes in gender roles within households under capitalism, as domestic labor became devalued (Rotman 2003, p. 10). The literature on gender roles within southeastern households—both prehistoric and historic—would benefit from greater comparative research. Scott (2004, p. 7) points to a number of potential comparative studies of gender for African-American households of the historic era. For example, how did gender roles in postbellum African-American households compare with those of European-Americans? How did African-American women’s reform organizations and men’s fraternal organizations impact 19th-century African-American households and gender roles? As another example, Fox-Genovese (1988, p. 52) reports that a high proportion of antebellum free black women chose to avoid marriage; how do the households of these women differ from those of free black men or unmarried white women of the same era? It is not hard to pose similar questions for gender relations within households of other ethnic groups in the historic-era Southeast. Likewise, for prehistoric households in the region, we might ask how domestic production varied between more agriculturally based Mississippian households in the interior Southeast and those in peripheral areas such as Florida and Oklahoma, where domestic plants appear to have been less important. Or, from a diachronic perspective, how were the relations of domestic production reorganized with broader changes in economy, such as the increasing reliance on horticulture over the course of the Woodland period in some parts of the Southeast? More broadly, prehistoric and historic archaeologists alike would do well to consider the conditions under which gender

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divisions and inequalities within households become emphasized (Brumfiel and Robin 2008, p. 4).

Household ritual and symbolism Allison (1999, p. 11) has noted that while ritual is a frequent topic of concern in archaeological research, this has not generally been the case with studies of households. One reason may be the assumption that the everyday or routine and ritual are necessarily separate phenomena. But as she suggests ‘‘…‘routine’ activities often have their own symbolic meaning and ritual activities can be part of everyday routine.’’ Of course, the identification of household ritual is a difficult task, even in areas of the world with more substantial architecture and better preservation than the Southeast; ritual objects may be quite ordinary, and ritual activity may be situated within quotidian tasks (Bradley 2003; Hutson and Stanton 2007; Robin 2003, p. 321). In addition, household ritual may actually take place outside domestic structures, in courtyards or around important natural features such as springs (Robin 2003, p. 322). Nevertheless, several studies of households in the Southeast demonstrate the manner in which ‘‘familiar practices can be imbued with ritual meaning’’ (Robin 2003, p. 321). The cosmological symbolism of Mississippian houses has been thoroughly considered by Hally (2002, p. 108, 2008, pp. 85–86; see also Gougeon 2006), who notes that the square, semisubterranean winter houses found at King and other late Mississippian sites in northwestern Georgia and portions of adjacent states appear to have expressed a number of cosmological beliefs and symbols that are known to have been characteristic of some native peoples of the Southeast. The square floor plan corresponds with the shape of the earth, the four walls and four roof support posts correspond to the cardinal directions and the sacred number four, and the seven posts used along exterior walls (regardless of the size of the house) also evoke a sacred number. Hally (2002, p. 108) also observes similarities between these houses and platform mounds (square shape, earthen cover, presence of burials, evidence of rebuilding), suggesting that—like mounds—these domestic structures also may have represented the ‘‘earth navel’’ from which ancestors emerged and to which the dead returned. The symbolic associations described by Hally underscore the possibility—more thoroughly recognized in the archaeology of other areas of the world (e.g., Robin 2003, p. 321)—that public rituals, often directed by elites, were derived from domestic ritual practices of ordinary people (Robin 2003, p. 321). In this light, it is interesting to note that many of the symbolic associations observed in Mississippian houses continued into the historic era, albeit mainly in public architecture (Rodning 2002, 2004; Wesson 2008, pp. 40–57). Still, these public structures retained symbolic value for households; Rodning (2002) suggests that periodic rebuilding of the townhouse at Coweeta Creek had the ‘‘symbolic effect of renewing social relationships between the people and households that considered themselves a town.’’

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Ancestor worship constitutes an area of household ritual frequently discussed in the literature on households in some areas of the world (e.g., McAnnany 1995; Robin 2003, p. 322); it is a growing area of interest among those studying prehistoric and historic native households in the Southeast. A number of studies (e.g., Hally 2008; Hally and Kelly 1998; Krause 1996; Rodning 2007; Schambach 1996) have demonstrated the manner in which the graves of ancestors and the buried remnants of structures may create ‘‘architectural threads weaving generations of houses together’’ (Rodning 2007, p. 465). At Coweeta Creek, some houses were rebuilt as many as five times (Rodning 2007). Each time, the structures were shifted only slightly, and the placement of hearths, roof support posts, and entryways remained unchanged. The rebuilding of domestic structures also served as a symbolic expression of household identity in the Mississippian period, as Hally (2008, pp. 308–309; see also Hally and Kelly 1998) argues from evidence at the King site. There, nine primary domestic structures were rebuilt 16 times over the course of the 40-year occupation. In 12 cases, the rebuilt structures were placed essentially on top of their predecessors. As Hally (2008, p. 309) notes, Mississippian household and descent groups were corporate entities that owned or controlled property, coordinated activities, and shared traditions, thus ‘‘households and their component conjugal family units would have had a strong interest in tracing their existence into the past and perpetuating their identity and existence through time.’’ In addition, Hally suggests that the act of rebuilding houses may have been symbolic of purification and world renewal—akin to other, more public ritual practices such as the replacement of large posts in plazas or the addition of mantles to mounds. Boudreaux (2007, p. 59) presents another variation on this theme with his analysis of enigmatic enclosed circular structures at the Town Creek site, a Mississippian village in North Carolina. He suggests that these enclosures were built to mark the former locations of house sites, used as cemeteries after the houses had been abandoned (but clearly not forgotten). Wilson (2008, p. 132) sees evidence for similar commemorative practices at Moundville; as the population dispersed to the hinterlands in the Moundville II and III periods (A.D. 1260–1520), ‘‘rurally relocated kin groups converted their former residential areas at Moundville into small corporate cemeteries.’’ Such commemorations of earlier houses, as well as the extensive, ritualistic rebuilding of domestic structures in place, appear to have been uncommon for houses dating prior to the Mississippian. Subfloor burials also are less frequent in the houses of the Early Mississippian period (Hally and Kelly 1998; Sullivan 1987) and rarer still in pre-Mississippian domestic structures. If such practices are symbolic of household identity, it raises the question of when households emerged as a unit of social reproduction and property transmission in the Southeast. Alternatively, it is possible that the symbolic expression of household identity was simply less important in Early Mississippian and pre-Mississippian times. Lacquement (2007b) considers an increase in household identity as one possible factor in the switch from smaller pole to larger post structures in the Moundville vicinity around A.D. 1400. He notes that the larger floor areas permitted more burials in the interior of structures, as well as greater segregation of work and personal space.

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Studies such as these demonstrate that the construction of prehistoric houses in the Southeast was, at least in some periods and places, a ritual act with symbolic referents to cosmological principles and ancestor veneration. This symbolic importance attached to houses by the indigenous peoples of the late Mississippian and historic periods raises the possibility that some groups in the ´´ ` Southeast may have been organized along the lines of the ‘‘societes a maison’’ or ´ ‘‘house societies’’ described by Levi-Strauss (1982, 1987). At the risk of oversimplifying a complex concept, the ‘‘house’’ in these contexts is conceived of as a ‘‘moral person,’’ which maintains an estate composed of both material and immaterial wealth, and which is perpetuated through transmission along a real or ´ imaginary line legitimated in the language of kinship or affinity (Levi-Strauss 1982, p. 174; see also Beck 2007, pp. 4–13; Gillespie 2000, 2007, pp. 26–39). Rodning (2007) makes a case that the Cherokee houses at Coweeta Creek took on this role, based on the evidence of ritual rebuilding cited above. Perhaps more provocatively, Brown (2007) reinterprets the mortuary data from Mound C at the Mississippian site of Etowah in Georgia, arguing that a model of rival, interrelated elite houses fits the archaeological record better than that of a single paramount lineage, as has usually been assumed. Apart from these two examples, however, few archaeologists have made a claim for this type of social organization among Mississippian or historic Indian societies in the region. This caution may be warranted in that while some of the conditions that have been described for the archaeological identification of ´ house societies (see Beck 2007, pp. 6–10; Gonzalez-Ruibal 2006) are arguably manifested in the Southeast, others are more ambiguous. Although studies of the symbolic value of domestic architecture have proliferated, the specific ritual actions taking place in association with prehistoric households in the region—what Bradley (2003, p. 12) refers to as the practices of ritualization—have received less attention. Both Mehrer (1995) and Emerson (1997a) implicate ritual in the function of nodal households in the rural hinterlands of Cahokia. These nodal households sometimes include sweat lodges, presumably used in ritual cleansing. As Emerson (1997a) notes, such ritual activities were probably an aspect of everyday life. Maxham (2000, 2004) posits ritual as a contributing factor in the production of an unusual artifact assemblage at Grady Bobo, a Mississippian site near Moundville. Specifically, a large pit feature produced a ceramic assemblage marked by unusually large quantities of serving vessels and a faunal collection notable for its high proportions of bird bones. She suggests that the site served as a public area where commoners—presumably from nearby farmsteads, although the evidence for such was equivocal—‘‘gathered to share food and create a sense of community’’ (Maxham 2004, p. 160). Ritual is implicated in an episode of household-level feasting at the Woodlandperiod Kolomoki site in Georgia (Pluckhahn et al. 2006). The possible feasting assemblage included several species of plants unusual for the area but recognized by later southeastern Indians for their symbolic associations and medicinal properties. My colleagues and I note that multiple lines of evidence may be required to identify feasting and other rituals at the household level; these activities may have taken place irregularly, they may require little in the way of specialized equipment, and

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they are almost always subsumed within the remains of common domestic activities. Numerous studies have focused on the manner in which historic-era houses and their spatial distribution symbolically reinforced elite statuses and ideologies (e.g., Barile 2004a; Leone 1984; Orser 1988), but less research has been devoted to the cosmological symbolism of the domestic architecture of the historic-period Southeast. There may be good reason for this omission; because many people of the more recent past did not construct the houses in which they lived, the connection of architecture and cosmological symbolism could be considered more tenuous. On the other hand, greater attention has recently been devoted to ritual objects associated with households of the historic era. For example, ritual practices are implicated in the subfloor pits found beneath some slave houses in Virginia (Samford 2007). Samford notes the correspondence between the content and structure of these pits and shrines to Idemeli, one of the water spirits among the Igbo of West Africa. Other artifacts resemble spiritual objects used by the Igbo for ancestor veneration. Excavations at a number of other slave households throughout the Southeast have produced unusual objects interpreted as charms and amulets associated with conjuring and other ritual practices (Baumann 2001; Singleton 1996, pp. 147–148; Wilkie 1995, 1997, 2000, pp. 241–242; Young 1996, 1997). Sometimes these interpretations are supported by documentary evidence; in other cases the associations are more speculative (Singleton 1996, p. 147). Franklin (1997, pp. 217–240) relates objects such as quartz and shells found in a slave household in Virginia to ‘‘protective symbolism’’ by which people sought to defend themselves, their families, and their belongings. More specifically, she connects these with minkisi, a Kongo tradition consisting of ‘‘the material conduits through which the living were assisted by the dead’’ (Franklin 1997, p. 224). Although they have been less commonly considered, elite households of the historic era also practiced ritual. McInnis (1999, p. 44) has noted the importance of tea drinking as a ritual among women in 18th-century Charlestonian households, as indicated by probate inventories documenting the sums spent on tea services. These ceremonies were social rituals that bound together Charleston’s elite households and excluded those without the means or connections to participate. The literature regarding household ritual and symbolism in the Southeast could perhaps be described as small but burgeoning. Historical archaeologists have focused mainly on unusual objects found in domestic contexts, whereas prehistorians have emphasized the symbolic and cosmological referents of domestic architecture. Both groups would benefit from greater attention to the way that ritual may be manifested in the seemingly mundane objects and activities of domestic life. Equally important, albeit more challenging, is understanding these aspects of material culture as meaningfully constituted ritual practices. Greater attention could be directed to rituals associated with the abandonment of houses, structured deposition of material remains, and deliberate fragmentation and reuse of objects (e.g., Chapman 2000; LaMotta and Schiffer 1999, pp. 23–24; Souvatzi 2008, p. 30; Tringham 1991).

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Households and the construction of ethnicity and identity Ethnicity and identity constitute the last, and possibly most expansive, area of recent research in the archaeology of households in the Southeast. Studies in this vein are not exactly new; culture-historians of the early and middle 20th century, guided by a view of culture that assumed conformance to rules or norms, frequently equated phases and traditions with particular social groups (Jones 1997, p. 24). Domestic architecture was often employed as a defining criterion for these taxonomic (and cultural) units. Such simplistic equations of artifacts with ethnicity were rightly dismissed by processualists and fell into disfavor in the 1960s and 1970s (Jones 1997, p. 5). In recent decades, however, ethnicity has re-emerged as a topic of concern in archaeology, reconceptualized as an aspect of social organization embedded within economic and political relations, particularly intergroup competition (Jones 1997, p. 28). Today, identity is frequently invoked as a creative strategy of social boundary maintenance rather than a passive reflection of norms. Historical archaeologists in the Southeast have been at the forefront of rethinking archaeological approaches to identity formation, no doubt a reflection of the importance of race and ethnicity in the development of American society (Thomas 2005, p. 157). Ethnicity, conceived mainly in terms of race, figured prominently in several early studies of antebellum households in the Southeast (e.g., Otto 1975, 1984; Singleton 1980). As Franklin (1997, p. 3) notes, an initial preoccupation with the differentiation of black and white households has given way to the manner in which material culture is actively manipulated in the process of forming new identities. Oppositional models of identity relations, such as acculturation, have been largely supplanted by alternatives such as creolization, fusion, hybridity, and parallel existence (Casella and Fowler 2005, p. 6) (see also Deagan 1983; Ferguson 1992). A brief comparison illustrates changes in thinking. In one early and often-cited study, Wheaton and Garrow (1985) note similarities between domestic structures excavated at 18th-century plantations in South Carolina and the clay-walled structures found in West Africa (see also Ferguson 1992, pp. 63–70). The authors interpret the use of this traditional African architectural form as a ‘‘survival’’ that gradually disappeared as slaves became acculturated under the dominating influence of plantation owners and managers. In contrast, Franklin (1997, p. 5) views the domestic assemblage from a slave household in Virginia through a lens of creolization, or ‘‘the blending of various cultures to create a new cultural form,’’ that recognizes the way identity and meaning are actively created. Her analysis of foodways indicates that African-American slaves incorporated domesticated animals and plants that were largely alien to them with West African food preparation and cooking methods to create a distinctly creole foodway (Franklin 1997, pp. 260–261). Likewise, the recovery of charms is interpreted as evidence of the way that ‘‘black cosmology and spirituality blended with Christianity to form an Afro-Christian worldview’’ (Franklin 1997, p. 261). The ways in which one or both of these two broad classes of material culture— food remains and spiritual items—may have contributed to the creation of AfricanAmerican identities is explored in a number of recent household-based studies

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(Baumann 2001; Fennell 2000; Mullins 1996, 2002; Samford 1994, 2007; Warner 1998), some more successful than others (Singleton 1996, pp. 142–150). Baumann (2001) considers the ways in which charms such as galena, crystals, and glass beads may have functioned in the construction of ethnicity for African-American households in Missouri. Despite an emphasis on context in theory, however, in practice most of the interpretations rely on analogies with other sites. Warner (1998) explores the role of food in the negotiation of African-American identities in Annapolis, arguing that the two households under consideration practiced a ‘‘selective consumerism’’ that subtly separated them from the mean consumption habits of White America. However, the sample is relatively small relative to the long period of study (from 1858 to 1980). Putting aside interpretations that may overextend data, a larger issue is the use of a relatively static concept of ethnicity that, as Thomas (2005, p. 158) notes, ‘‘uncritically equates commodities with identities’’ (see also Penner 1997). Although material culture may play a role in the construction of ethnicity, artifacts such as charms cannot be considered emblematic of a singular African-American identity (Thomas 2005). The meanings of material culture are often plural and conflicted, reflecting opposing notions of identity (Casella and Fowler 2005, p. 4; Mullins 2008, p. 167). These conflicts involve relationships of power that may be obscured when we resort to ‘‘ethnic labeling’’ of sites and objects (Jones 1997, p. 27), as well as when we invoke creolization as a sort of generic process (Mullins and Paynter 2000). Indeed, the best studies on this theme remind us that relationships between material culture and identity are complicated. Wilkie’s (2000) study of four AfricanAmerican households on Oakley Plantation in Louisiana is exemplary for its attention to the subtleties and varieties of identity. Commonalities are apparent among the four households she studies; however, through the analyses of literature, documents, oral history, and material culture, Wilkie describes the manner in which individual identities are both created and imposed through the routines of daily practice within the home. Perhaps her greatest contribution is in capturing the manner in which identities change through time, over the courses of both the life cycles of the households and the lives of individuals. Mullins’s (1996, 2002) comparison of the patterns of consumption of late 19thcentury African-American households in Annapolis against the background of racial ideology of the day is similarly instructive. His thorough analysis of period texts, popular culture, and the archaeological record indicates how distinct AfricanAmerican consumption tactics ‘‘negotiated racist regulations, preserved AfricanAmerican cultural integrity, and undermined Black racial caricatures’’ (Mullins 1996, p. xix). Through a diachronic study of households in New Orleans, Dawdy (2000b) breaks down the concept of creolization, arguing that it may take different forms (transplantation, ethnic acculturation, and hybridization). Elsewhere, she (Dawdy 2000a) illustrates that ethnicity may be expressed archaeologically, not only by the type of material goods but also by their distribution. Her excavations at the RiondaNelson site revealed a lack of midden, a finding she attributes to a Creole practice of using the ‘‘outdoor room’’ as an extension of the house. The persistence of this

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pattern by a number of occupants over a number of years is attributed to a shared creole culture and ‘‘ethnic resistance’’ to colonial, French Renaissance ideals. Where Mullins and Dawdy find ethnically distinctive patterns of household consumption and disposal, other researchers have had greater difficulty identifying ethnic markers in the material culture associated with households. Stine (1989), for example, compared two postbellum farmsteads in the North Carolina Piedmont. The households were of similar economic position, but one family was black and the other white. She found no meaningful differences in either the composition or distribution of artifacts, suggesting that ethnicity had little effect on material culture. Generalizing from this and similar studies, Cabak et al. (1999, p. 22) argue that ethnicity played little or no role in the selection of material possessions by 20thcentury farm families. They credit the lack of ethnic markers to the ‘‘…cultural homogeneity and standardization wrought by the nation’s emerging industrialization and consumerism.’’ These studies point to the fact that ethnicity may not be as salient in some contexts as in others. As the literature cited above demonstrates, studies of ethnicity in the Southeast have been dominated by work on African-American households. Colonial European and Native American households of the early historic period also provide fodder for considerations of ethnicity; it was within these contexts that the concept of creolization first developed. Scarry and McEwan (1995) compare Spanish and Apalachee households in Mission-period northern Florida, finding little change in the shapes, arrangements, or construction of either as a result of contact. They take this as evidence that each group maintained distinct identities in the realm of domestic architecture despite the otherwise profound changes resulting from European colonization. Traditional forms of material culture may be expected in cases where indigenous households reject the influence of colonizers (Groover 2000). More often, however, the evidence from colonial-era households suggests that material markers of ethnicity are mixed, reflecting the creative construction of new identities, as well as the filtering effects of wealth, status, and gender. Cusick (1993, 2000), for example, examines the intersection of wealth and ethnicity through material remains and probate records for Spanish and Minorcan households in St. Augustine in the interval from around 1784–1821. Costume, identified through probate records, followed well-established ethnic patterns, whereas archaeological ceramic assemblages were more reflective of socioeconomic status than ethnicity. Cusick argues that while ethnicity influenced the materiality of households, the influence decreased with the socioeconomic mobility of the household. Loren (1999, 2000), through her study of one French and four Spanish households on the 18th-century Louisiana/Texas frontier, considers the manner in which colonial and mixed-blood identity was constituted in daily practices. She uses ethnohistorical data to reconstruct imperial ideals and then compares them to material remains of households. Loren finds that ideals were both maintained and blurred as a result of conscious decisions made by individuals, noting that the process of identity formation takes place at the intersection of status, race or ethnicity, and gender.

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´ Riggs (1999) compares Removal-era households of Anglo-Cherokee metis and full-blooded Cherokees in southwestern North Carolina. Combining documentary and archaeological data, he demonstrates how both groups used various types of media to construct and maintain ethnic boundaries. Riggs reports a high degree of ´ continuity of native material traditions among all households but finds that the metis household was differentiated through a high frequency and diversity of massproduced, commercial goods. Building on Riggs’s study, but working at a smaller scale, Greene (2009) constructs a detailed narrative of identity formation for one Cherokee family who remained in the same area of North Carolina after Removal. His analyses of artifact and archival data reveal the manner in which the Welch family maintained their farm through the creation of a hybrid identity—outwardly projecting the appearance of a white plantation while inwardly maintaining the manufacture and use of many traditional Cherokee items. Marcoux (2008) also draws from Riggs’s work but focuses on earlier (late 17th and early 18th century) Cherokee households at the Townsend sites in eastern Tennessee. His comparison of six domestic pottery assemblages suggests the existence of three distinct potting traditions, each associated with particular households. From this evidence, Marcoux argues that the sites represent a coalescent community (sensu Kowalewski 2006) formed as households migrated from geographically disparate settlements, a strategy to cope with population loss and violence associated with the British colonial period. Southeastern archaeologists have been more cautious applying the concepts of identity and ethnicity to the prehistoric households of the region. Such conservatism may be warranted given the mixed mediums and messages of ethnicity represented in the historical case studies. Without the added authority of archival records, invoking ethnicity as an explanation for differences in material culture among prehistoric households requires eliminating other possible explanations—particularly temporal change—as a source of variation. Still, archaeological studies of historic households demonstrate that domestic architecture and material culture are important components of the construction of identity; there is no reason to think this was not also the case for the native societies of the prehistoric Southeast. Households figure prominently in the recent rethinking of Mississippian as a historical process that involved the creation of a new Mississippian identity (Pauketat 1994, 1997a, 2004a, b, 2007). Specifically, research at Cahokia suggests that house construction styles changed abruptly with the founding of the community around A.D. 1050 (Pauketat 1994, pp. 130–140, 2004a, pp. 78–80). Wall-trench houses, perhaps produced by work crews, replaced traditional single-post structures. From Cahokia, these and other elements of Mississippian culture are believed to have spread across the Southeast in a process of ‘‘Mississippianization’’ that likely involved the direct movement of people from Cahokia (Pauketat 2004a, p. 119). Wall-trench architecture is invoked as a critical element of the ‘‘cultural blueprint’’ carried by these Middle Mississippian ‘‘pioneers’’ (Blitz and Lorenz 2006, pp. 124– 125). Alt (2006, p. 290) has employed the concept of hybridity (sensu Bhabha 1990) to describe the manner in which new identities were forged through the dispersal of

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Mississippian people and ideas. She offers this as an alternative to creolization, arguing that hybridity ‘‘posits a more generalizable process that can generate something never seen before’’ (Alt 2006, p. 291). Applying this perspective to the immigrant communities founded in the Richland complex outside Cahokia, Alt (2006, p. 301) notes the presence of ‘‘faux wall trenches’’ that combine elements of the single-post and wall-trench architectural styles (see also Alt 2001, 2002; Pauketat 2003a; Pauketat and Alt 2005). Sassaman (2006) is one of the few archaeologists who extends the concept of ethnicity into the more remote prehistory of the Southeast through his work on the development of the Classic Stallings phase of the Late Archaic in the middle Savannah River Valley. Sassaman (2006, p. 80) equates this cultural change with an ‘‘active process of asserting identity in the context of competing or alternative identities.’’ Thus a distinctive Stallings identity was formed through the inclusion of some people and the exclusion of others (represented by distinct archaeological phases) with whom they competed in a ‘‘multiethnic neighborhood.’’ Social boundary maintenance for Stallings people was achieved primarily through the use of distinctive pottery, but Sassaman (2006, p. 94) argues that the physical arrangement of houses was ‘‘one of the more powerful cues’’ to the expression of ethnic differences. Specifically, Stallings houses appear to have been formally arranged in circular compounds, whereas contemporaneous groups constructed houses in smaller, more haphazard, arrangements. The identification of archaeological markers of ethnicity has been described— even by its proponents—as ‘‘difficult’’ (Thomas 2005, p. 157), ‘‘problematic’’ (Jones 1997, p. 29), and ‘‘a can of worms’’ (Kelly and Kelly 1980, p. 133). Much of the tension lies in the burden of proof; just as material culture supports polysemic interpretations of identity by people in the past, so too it may be difficult to decide between competing interpretations in the present (Casella and Fowler 2005, p. 6). As Sassaman (2006, p. 151) admits, his interpretations of ethnicity cannot be read literally in the archaeological record and must remain largely hypothetical. Nevertheless, as Sassaman (2006, pp. 78, 151) also contends, the reality of contemporary ethnographic data argues that social groups in the past would have actively created symbolic boundaries of inclusion and exclusion. The material culture of households—domestic architecture in particular, given its greater visibility—may serve as an important medium for such symbolism. For the most part, archaeologists studying households in the Southeast have done well to avoid the problems that plagued cultural–historical conceptions of identity and ethnicity by conceptualizing these as dynamic and situational processes. The concept of ethnicity, however, provides persistent challenges for archaeologists in the region. First and most generally, few studies explicitly define what is meant by ‘‘ethnicity’’ or ‘‘ethnic group,’’ perhaps because there is little consensus regarding the meaning of these terms even among cultural anthropologists (Jones 1997, p. 56; Meskell 2007, p. 25). On a related note, it may be difficult to distinguish ethnic groups from other collective-interest groups, such as those based on age, class, gender, or sexuality (Jones 1997, p. 79; Meskell 2007). In the past, historical archaeologists in the region have displayed a tendency to look at artifacts and architecture as ethnic labels, or as symbolic ethnic trappings added on to a more

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fundamental material presence. But as Thomas (1996, p. 90) observes, places such as houses are meaningful ‘‘all the way down.’’ For prehistoric archaeologists, the equating of phases with ethnic groups runs the risk of reifying these groups as bounded, homogeneous, and static. The analysis of the political and economic dimensions of ethnicity lessens these tendencies but can lead to an overly deterministic argument that ethnicity develops primarily or exclusively to serve the purposes of interest groups (Jones 1997, p. 77). These problems may be mitigated by focusing more broadly on identity, which is often conceptualized as more individualized, contextual, and fluid (Casella and Fowler 2005; Meskell 2007). A focus on identity also presents greater opportunity to shift levels of analysis from the personal to the collective (Thomas 1996, p. 78)— an obvious advantage for the analysis of social formations such as households. Challenges remain, but as Insoll notes, the ‘‘issue is really whether one can actually have an archaeology that is not concerned with identity’’ (Insoll 2007, p. 1, emphasis in original).

Challenges for future research Household archaeology in the Southeast has progressed rapidly in the past decade. Before, the goal was the identification of general patterns of domestic behavior from the study of more or less bounded and isolated households. Today, households in the region are increasingly examined as creative agents embedded within larger landscapes. Prominent areas of concern include status variation, production, and consumption, but also newer themes such as gender, identity and ethnicity, agency and power, and ritual and symbolism. Many studies today look to the ways that several of these variables intersect to produce households and household practices in particular historical contexts. An increasingly historical, agent-based, and contextual approach has reaped many intellectual rewards; however, it has come at the cost of reduced attention to the position of households in social and cultural change. As Gerritsen (2004, p. 144) observes for household studies more generally that ‘‘the focus on practices of daily life stimulates detailed, small-scale, and synchronic studies, but at the same time appears to stand in the way of a perspective combining the small social scale with broader diachronic developments.’’ This problem is perhaps less acute in the household archaeology of the Southeast than in other areas of the world; for example, historical archaeologists connect southern, postbellum farmsteads to largescale economic processes operating on the order of several decades (Cabak et al. 1999; Groover 1998, 2005, 2008), whereas prehistoric archaeologists consider changes in Mississippian households over the course of several centuries (e.g., Wilson 2005, 2008). Still, a principal challenge for household archaeology in the Southeast (as elsewhere) remains the integration of this ‘‘…view of domestic life as lived by knowledgeable agents…with models of (long-term) structural change’’ (Gerritsen 2004, p. 151). A more practical challenge for archaeologists interested in households is the attempt to accomplish more interpretation with less data, a reflection of preservation

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concerns and the high cost of broad horizontal exposure in excavations (Knight 2007, p. 187). This has implications for our understanding of households, as Pauketat (2007, p. 102) notes: ‘‘there are shockingly few modern excavations of entire domiciles, never mind multiple houses…For this reason, today’s Mississippianists (outside of Cahokia-area researchers) seldom analyze the packing, standardization, permanency, and construction cycles of eastern North American housing.’’ Of course, several recent household studies have made productive use of data generated by broad-scale excavations conducted under the auspices of the WPA and other projects (e.g., Boudreaux 2007; Rodning 2004; Sullivan 2001; Wilson 2005, 2008). However, such studies, often relying on older excavation records (Knight 2007, p. 187), can never match the level of detail provided by contemporary excavations (e.g., Hally 2008). Likewise, recent advances in remote sensing may partially mitigate the lack of complete excavations of households by delineating the locations of domestic architecture and related features (e.g., Perttula et al. 2008), but they cannot mitigate the loss of carefully excavated domestic artifact assemblages. Large-scale areal excavations are not uncommon in cultural resources management in the Southeast. The data generated by cultural resource management projects have been pivotal to understanding Mississippian households at Cahokia, as attested by a number of books, book chapters, and articles (e.g., Kelly 1990a, b; Mehrer 1995, 2000; Mehrer and Collins 1995; Pauketat 2003b). In recent years, however, cultural resource management excavations of houses seem to generate fewer peerreviewed publications. As Knight (2007, p. 187) observes, fewer archaeologists in the Southeast have first-hand experience in the excavation and interpretation of houses, and fewer still are called on to place results in larger perspective. Greater collaboration between cultural management firms and universities could lead to more publication of household excavations. Cultural resource management firms also could pay bonuses for publication, as is the case with some companies in the western United States (Matthew Bandy, personal communication, 2009). On the other hand, large-scale excavations are not a prerequisite for investigations of households, as demonstrated best by historical archaeologists in the Southeast. Cabak and Inkrot (1997), for example, correlate variations in the areal extent of middens with household size and status. Nash (2009, p. 225) would draw a distinction between studies such as this, which she would classify as the archaeology of domestic remains, and household archaeology proper, which considers artifacts in relation to domestic features. Nevertheless, household studies in the Southeast could benefit from similarly creative use of limited sampling data. Likewise, methodological approaches such as soil chemistry and microartifact analysis should be explored to identify activity areas within and around households, as demonstrated by recent research elsewhere (e.g., King 2007; Parnell et al. 2002; Robin 2002; Wells et al. 2000). The benefits of the rigorous use of statistics in household archaeology are amply illustrated by the recent work of Marcoux (2008), who builds a strong case for the identification of archaeological households from seemingly ambiguous data through statistical comparison of feature size, shape, and fill.

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Household archaeology in the Southeast should be expanded to include a broader range of domestic sites. Work on historic households is heavily weighted to plantation homes and slave quarters of the antebellum era, and to a lesser extent the indigenous and colonialist households of the early historic Southeast. The field has recently expanded to include the households of African-Americans of the postbellum era (e.g., Baumann 2001; Mullins 1996, 2002; Thomas 2005). Still, not enough work has been devoted to the smaller households of yeoman farmers and squatters, to the residences of other minority groups (but see Crass and Penner 1992; Penner 1997), or to the households of the industrialized south. The study of prehistoric households in the Southeast is heavily biased toward those of the Mississippian period, mostly the households and farmsteads associated with major centers such as Cahokia and Moundville. Greater attention should be devoted to the domestic sites associated with smaller, less centralized Mississippian polities. Perhaps more important, additional research is needed on pre-Mississippian domestic sites. The very emergence of coresidential households in the Southeast is a question that begs additional, focused inquiry. While there is certainly room for southeastern archaeologists to expand their topical coverage, it would probably not be an exaggeration to claim that no other region in the world can match the Southeast for its breadth of archaeological study of both prehistoric and historic households. This bridging of the colonial divide has led to significant new insights that have informed household archaeology more generally, particularly with regard to the dialectics of power and the construction of identity. Household archaeology in the Southeast has been instrumental in exposing the injustices of colonialism and the capitalist world system more generally, but also in illuminating the creativity of responses to these forces on the part of the colonized and oppressed. Unfortunately, in many respects, prehistoric and historic archaeologists in the Southeast have approached households largely in isolation from one another, as evidenced by the seminal edited volumes regarding household archaeology in the region (Barile and Brandon 2004; Rogers and Smith 1995). As I hope to have demonstrated in this review, each group has something to learn from the other. Greater dialogue would no doubt lead to a more robust body of method and theory for the archaeology of households. Archaeologists in the Southeast also would benefit from greater engagement with historians who have adopted anthropological approaches to households in the region, such as Fox-Genovese (1988) and Hahn (1983). Notwithstanding these challenges, the future of household archaeology in the Southeast is bright. In 1996, Hendon could easily (and perhaps rightly) omit the Southeast from a synthesis of current research in the field; today such an omission would be inconceivable. The benefits of the household as a unit of analysis and interpretation have sustained an interest among scholars in the region for more than three decades and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years to come.
Acknowledgments A seminar some years ago with David Hally was a formative influence on my thinking regarding households. I thank David and the other participants in that seminar, especially Ramie Gougeon, Julie Markin, and Barnie Pavao-Zuckerman. My thinking has since benefitted from discussions

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with a number of colleagues, including Matt Bandy, David Carballo, Pat Gilman, Steve Kowalewski, Chris Rodning, Ben Steere, Victor Thompson, Rich Wilshusen, and Don Wyckoff. Becky Zarger is a constant source of inspiration. I thank the editors for inviting me to participate in a rewarding intellectual exercise, and I am grateful for the helpful comments and suggestions of Jamie Brandon, T. R. Kidder, Chris Rodning, Ken Sassaman, and three anonymous reviewers. Thanks are also extended to Shannon McVey for her assistance with compiling the bibliography and proofreading the manuscript. All errors are mine alone.

References cited
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