Presentation on theme: "Doing History with architecture. The author Fraser D. Neiman – Undergraduate Degree: Brown University – Ph.D. Yale University, in Anthropology – Currently."— Presentation transcript:
Doing History with architecture
The author Fraser D. Neiman – Undergraduate Degree: Brown University – Ph.D. Yale University, in Anthropology – Currently director of Archaeology at Monticello.
Fraser Neiman Web page Neiman, Fraser D. "Domestic Architecture at the Clifts Plantation: The Social Context of Early Virginia Building.“ Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Magazine 28 (December, 1978): Neiman, Fraser D. The Manner House Before Stratford (Discovering the Clifts Plantation). Stratford, VA: Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Neiman, Fraser D. "Domestic Architecture at the Clifts Plantation: The Social Context of Early Virginia Building." Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture. Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach, eds. Athens, GA: University Press of Georgia, Pp Neiman, Fraser Duff. "An Evolutionary Approach to Archaeological Inference: Aspects of Architectural Variation in the Seventeenth- Century Chesapeake." Ph.D. Diss. Yale University, Neiman, Fraser D. "Temporal Patterning in House Plans from the 17th-Century Chesapeake." The Archaeology of 17th-Century Virginia. Theodore R. Reinhart and Dennis J. Pogue, eds. Special Publication No. 30. Richmond, VA: Archeological Society of Virginia, Pp Neiman, Fraser D. "Stylistic Variation in Evolutionary Perspective: Inferences from Decorative Diversity and Interassemblage Distance in Illinois Woodland Ceramic Assemblages." American Antiquity 60 (January, 1995): Neiman, Fraser D. "Dimensions of Ethnicity." Historical Archaeology, Identity Formation, and the Interpretation of Ethnicity. Maria Franklin and Garrett Fesler, eds. Robert L. Schuyler, fore., with comments by Fraser D. Neiman. Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg Research Publications, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Pp Neiman, Fraser D. "Conspicuous consumption as wasteful social advertising: A Darwinian perspective on spatial patterns in Classic Maya terminal monument dates." Rediscovering Darwin: Evolutionary Theory and Archeological Explanation. Edited by C. Michael Barton and Geoffrey A. Clark. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 7. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association, Neiman, Fraser D. "Darwinian Archaeologies." American Scientist 86:1 (Jan-Feb 1998): pp Neiman, Fraser D. "Coincidence or causal connection? The relationship between Thomas Jefferson's visits to Monticello and Sally Hemings's conceptions." William and Mary Quarterly 56(1) Neiman, Fraser D et al. "Signaling theory, strategic interaction, and symbolic capital." Current Anthropology v46:2 (April 2005) pp (?). Neiman, Fraser D. "The lost world of Monticello: an evolutionary perspective." Journal of Anthropological Research 64:2 (2008): Neiman, Fraser D & Karen Y. Smith. "Frequency seriation, correspondence analysis, and Woodland-Period ceramic assemblage variation in the Deep South." Southeastern Archaeology 26:1(2007): Neiman, Fraser, James Whittenburg, Carter Hudgins, Willie Graham, and Carl Lounsbury. "Inheritance and adaptation: archaeological and architectural perspective on the 17th century Chesapeake." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd series 64, no. 3 (July 2007):
What does this article intend to accomplish? What does it give as the context for the hypothesis? “Yet the constructions of the past (history)... Often tell more about ourselves than our forebears.” Glorious times (for the few of wealth) now faded. Nostalgia for vanished way of life Embodied in the architecture
Beware: Assumption “We need to view the houses not as objects in themselves, but as the products of ideas in the minds of their builders... shared by the members of the social group under consideration.” The Social Scientist’s goal and methodology is to logically quantify and abstract statistical patterns of normalized behaviors. (Logical) The Historian’s goal and methodology is to create narratives of change tied to individual characters and circumstances. (Imagistic) "Necessity knows no persuasion. (logical) "Choice knows no refuge.“ (imagistic) (Marwyn Samuels, p. 53) Is this distinction relevant to this discussion?
The Cliffs Plantation What do we know? 1651 Nathaniel Pope patents the land that would become the Stratford Hall property in the 18 th century. 1670s first occupied by Thomas Pope, son of the earliest settler. Clifts plantation was a tenant farm: What is a plantation? 1718 House on the Clifts tract still described as “Manor House” 1729 Lee’s house at Machodoc was burned by arsonists. 1730s, Thomas Lee has Stratford Hall built. He is the acting governor of Virginia
Manor Houses p 311, “The essential point to be grasped is not that they were a response to a widening economic gap between social groups. The rich were always rich and the poor always poor. Rather they were the product of a loss of definition in social categories and the attendant decay of mutually felt obligations that upheld them.”
Earth-fast construction Minor European building tradition raised to commonplace in new world. "need to view the houses not as objects in themselves, but as the products of ideas in the minds of their builders, which to a large extant are shared by the members of the social group under consideration." What are the different kinds of post in ground buildings that Virginian could have built.
Earth-fast construction Why did planters build such shoddy shacks? 1. Only wished to reap a fortune and then return to England. a. describe early, but not late 17th century. b. What is impermanence? Is a house described as “manor house” recognized as impermanent? 2. Labor was costly, so insubstantial construction was more cost effective. a. Supported by wood chimnies.
Why the sudden discussion of archaeological issues Three kinds of earth-fast construction Puncheon (English version of jacal) Interrupted sills (bay system) block construction (uneven depth) What does this establish?
Loss of community The essential point to be grasped is not that they were a response to a widening economic gap between social groups. The rich were always rich and the poor always poor. Loss of definition in social categories and the attendant decay of mutually felt obligations that upheld them. So rather than unstated assumptions, men began to use the material world. How? “looked to artifacts to communicate both to themselves and to others their place in society and their identity with other men whom they counted as their peers.” “objects became essential in ordering and controlling the course of everyday encounters between men of different social status.”
Neiman’s explanation of change So rather than unstated assumptions began to use the material world. how? “looked to artifacts to communicate both to themselves and to others their place in society and their identity with other men whom they counted as their peers.” “objects became essential in ordering and controlling the course of everyday encounters between men of different social status.”
environmental determinism Fraser argues that wealth is a necessary condition for these architectural developments, they are not sufficient. What is a sufficient condition? Why is there a sudden and nearly universal rejection of hole-set buildings in homes of the rich in the second quarter of the 18th century? footnote 51 what is environmental determinism. Again is dissipating heat a necessary and sufficient for an explanation?
In Conclusion The present essay began with a similar proposition, that artifacts...can elucidate the rarities and varieties of past experience and not simply serve as props to be manipulated in latter-day wish fulfillment.