REVISITING THE PUBLIC STRUCTURE ARTIFACT PATTERN: CULTURAL PATTERNING AT TWO EIGHTEENTH CENTURY GOVERNMENT SITES.
Willoughby, Welsey R.
This thesis presents a comparison of the artifact assemblages from two eighteenth century government sites: Delaware’s Old State House of 1787 located in Dover, Delaware; and The Chowan County Courthouse of 1767 located in Edenton, North Carolina. The main purpose of this comparison is to test the validity of the Public Structure Artifact Pattern first proposed in 1978 by Cara Wise. The identification of this pattern followed Wise’s original analysis of Delaware’s Old State House. Wise compared the functional groups of artifacts from the State House with two other sites that operated in a public capacity and found them to display similar frequencies. This study introduces data from excavations of the Chowan County Courthouse, a public site comparable to Delaware’s Old State House, as a test implication. The proportions of functional groups of artifacts from the Chowan County site were compared to those displayed by Delaware’s Old State House and were assessed for their conformity to the expected Public Structure Pattern. The ceramic assemblages from both sites were also compared at the minimum vessel level both by ware and functional type. This comparison was offered as an independent, complimentary test to further assess similarity in patterning between the sites and to further evaluate the Public Structure Pattern. The overall results of this analysis found general support for the validity of the Public Pattern. The functional groups of artifacts from both sites display remarkable consistency and conform closely to the expected pattern. Additionally, the ceramic assemblages from both sites display consistent proportions of vessels both by ware and functional type.