Nantucket and Other Native Places

The Legacy of Elizabeth Alden Little

Edited by Elizabeth S. Chilton & Mary Lynne Rainey

Subjects: Archaeology, Indigenous Studies
Paperback : 9781438432540, 251 pages, May 2010
Hardcover : 9781438432533, 251 pages, May 2010

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables

1. The “Ancient Dwelling” on Sunset Hill: Preliminary Archaeological Investigations at the Jethro Coffin House
Duncan Ritchie

2. Native American Architecture on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
Mary Lynne Rainey

3. Drift Whales at Nantucket: The Kindness of Moshup
Elizabeth Alden Little and J. Clinton Andrews

4. Island Queens: Women Sachems on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in the Colonial Period
Kathleen J. Bragdon

5. Pilgrim Subsistence: A Seventeenth Century Profile from the John and Priscilla Alden House, Duxbury, Massachusetts
Tonya Baroody Largy and Mitchell T. Mulholland

6. The “Indian Planting Fields” in Concord, Massachusetts: Influence of New Techniques on Archaeological Explanatory Models
Shirley Blancke

7. Wampum Use in Southern New England: The Paradox of Bead Production without the Use of Political Belts
Marshall Joseph Becker

8. The Origin and Spread of Maize (Zea Mays) in New England
Elizabeth S. Chilton

9. Limestone, Shell, and the Archaeological Visibility of Maize and Beans in New England: A Fertilizer Hypothesis
Elizabeth Alden Little

10. An Intellectual Biography of Elizabeth Alden Little, 1927–2003
Dena Ferran Dincauze

Afterword: A Presentation at Elizabeth A. Little’s Memorial Celebration, September 12, 2003
Ruel Little

A Comprehensive List of the Works of Elizabeth Alden Little
About the Contributors

An indispensable, up-to-date overview of the archaeology of the Native peoples and earliest settlers of eastern Massachusetts.


The archaeology and histories of the Native peoples and earliest settlers of eastern Massachusetts come vividly to life in these pages. Leading archaeologists and anthropologists share the latest findings and interpretations on a wide range of topics, including the archaeology of the Jethro Coffin House, arguably the oldest house in Nantucket; the origin and significance of maize horticulture; the production and distribution of wampum; Native women sachems of Martha's Vineyard; Native vernacular architecture at Nantucket; the "Indian planting fields" at Concord; fertilizer and Native horticulture; the enduring strands of significance of drift whales; and an insightful examination of a seventeenth-century house in Duxbury.

A tribute to the career of the influential archaeologist Elizabeth Alden Little (1926–2003), Nantucket and Other Native Places offers an essential introduction to the archaeology of eastern Massachusetts. The book includes an homage to Elizabeth Little's life and career by renowned archaeologist Dena F. Dincauze, as well as a comprehensive bibliography of her extensive published work.

Elizabeth S. Chilton is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology, and the Director of the Center for Heritage and Society at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research, publications, and teaching focus on the archaeology of New England, Native history, maize horticulture, social complexity, cultural resource management, and the analysis of material culture. Mary Lynne Rainey is a former senior consultant for Natural Resource Group, LLC. She has worked in the field of cultural resource management across New England and the Middle Atlantic region since 1979, and she has directed more than twenty projects on the island of Nantucket.


"…this volume contains much that is new, both in content and methodology. " — Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology