"Unrivaled in scope. An essential work for urban historical archaeologists."--Adrian Praetzellis, author of "Dug to Death" "An engaging and astonishingly comprehensive work that reveals just how much our knowledge of America's cities and the lives of city dwellers has been enriched through urban archaeology."--Mary C. Beaudry, coeditor of "Archaeologies of Mobility and Movement"
American cities have been built, altered, redeveloped, destroyed, reimagined, and rebuilt for nearly 300 years in order to accommodate growing and shrinking populations and their needs.
Urban archaeology is a unique subfield with its own peculiar challenges and approaches to fieldwork. Understanding the social forces that influenced the development of American cities requires more than digging; it calls for the ability to extrapolate from limited data, an awareness of the dynamics that drive urban development, and theories that can build bridges to connect the two.
At the forefront of this exciting field of research, Nan Rothschild and Diana Wall are well suited to introduce this fascinating topic to a broad readership. Following a brief introduction, the authors offer specific case studies of work undertaken in New York, Philadelphia, Tucson, West Oakland, and many other cities. Ideal for undergraduates, "The Archaeology of American Cities" utilizes the material culture of the past to highlight recurring themes that reflect distinctive characteristics of urban life in the United States. Nan A. Rothschild, director of the Museum Studies Program and professor of anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University, is the author of three books, including "New York City Neighborhoods: The 18th Century." Diana diZerega Wall, professor of anthropology at the City College of the City University of New York, is the author of "The Archaeology of Gender" and the coauthor of "Unearthing Gotham."