The archaeology of the Smith House (ORYA3), Dayton, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xp68kk79n

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  • Site ORYA3, the Smith House, is located in Dayton, Oregon. The archaeological project originated because owners of this structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, applied for a demolition permit. The 1859 home, first occupied by two early Oregon pioneers, Andrew and Sarah Smith, was considered architecturally significant, an unique example of a territorial period home. In the years since 1859, the original building construction has not been significantly modified, nor have the grounds been looted or substantially altered. Dr. David Brauner and the Oregon State University Anthropology Department began an archaeological project at this location in anticipation of the destruction, the first time in Oregon that archaeologists have excavated the interior of a standing house. The longevity of occupation, site taphonomy, and episodes of floor repair over the years created a mixed context. The research direction for this thesis matches a statistical and descriptive analysis of a sample of the material culture with information gathered from published and unpublished archival data from the Smith house. The thesis examines cultural material found on this site and provides a basis for comparison with other similar archaeological sites. Dayton history is discussed, to provide a broad context within which to interpret the archaeological data. Occupancy background on the various residents is provided. This thesis provides a general analysis of the 10,609 artifacts and their associated provenience. This thesis is a cautionary tale for historic archaeologists working on domestic sites. Examination of material by room points out how little can really be said based only on artifact presence. On this site, oral and written histories often proved to be better sources of information than the artifacts on many subjects.
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