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Silliman, Stephen Walter

Grant Type
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation
Massachusetts, Boston, U. of
Completed Grant
Approve Date
Project Title
Silliman, Dr. Stephen W., U. of Massachusetts, Boston, MA - To aid research on 'Through Centuries of Colonialism: Native American Reservation Communities in Southern New England'

DR. STEPHEN W. SILLIMAN, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, received funding in May 2004 to aid research on 'Through Centuries of Colonialism: Native American Reservation Communities in Southern New England.' Wenner-Gren funds were used to undertake archaeological research on the Eastern Pequot's historic reservation in southern New England (U.S.) in collaboration with the contemporary indigenous community. The express purpose of this project, the first ever on this 225-acre area held by the Eastern Pequot community since A.D.1683, was to begin studying material culture, food remains, architecture, and landscape to obtain information on the ways that Native Americans struggled with colonialism and maintained community on the reservation. Field research and subsequent laboratory analysis in 2004-2005 helped locate, excavate, and study portions of households and associated landscapes dating between A.D.1760 and 1840. Accessing almost a century of reservation life has revealed the creative ways that Native Americans used consumer material goods such as pottery, clay pipes, and metal utensils; lived in framed wooden houses with glass-paned windows; bought, grew, or at least ate livestock, fish, wild game, and shellfish; and developed a distinctive farming and social landscape. Eastern Pequot individuals incorporated certain items and practices into their everyday life as a method of coping with harsh economic conditions, a small land base, and persistent attacks on their culture. They also used these same aspects to create or maintain community.

Publication Credit:

Silliman, Stephen W. 2009. Change and Continuity, Practice and Memory: Native American Persistence in Colonial New England. American Antiquity 74(2):211-230.