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Book Cover for: Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community, Martha A. Zierden

Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community

Martha A. Zierden

Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Society for Historical Archaeology James Deetz Book Award

The archaeology and history of one of the most storied cities of the American South.

South Carolina, is one of the most storied cities of the American
South. Widely recognized for its historic buildings, its thriving
maritime culture, and its role in the Civil War, Charleston is also
considered the birthplace of historic preservation. Martha Zierden and
Elizabeth Reitz--whose archaeological fieldwork in the city spans more
than three decades--explore the evolution of the urban environment, the
intricacies of provisioning such a robust city, and the urban foodways
that continue to inspire Charleston's culture.

In Charleston,
Zierden and Reitz weave archaeology and history to illuminate this
vibrant, densely packed Atlantic port city. They detail the residential,
commercial, and public life of the city, the ruins of taverns, markets,
and townhouses, including those of Thomas Heyward, shipping merchant
Nathaniel Russell, and William Aiken. The authors shed light on the
dynamics of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and
services that linked the city with rural neighbors and global markets.
They also trace fish and game from the woods and waters to the kitchens
where the food was prepared and the tables where it was served. Zierden
and Reitz reveal how global trade goods combined with indigenous flavors
to create a cuisine that was uniquely Charleston.

artifacts unearthed show how Charleston continued to grow and develop
as it contended with public health initiatives necessitated by
post-Civil War changes, the fire of 1861, and the earthquake of 1886.
They also testify to the city's arts and finery and to the challenges
experienced by laboring slaves, house servants, and other
underprivileged citizens. By reminding us that urban areas shape and are
shaped by their inhabitants, Charleston evokes the essence of the deeply complex city whose influence was felt throughout the Atlantic World.

Book Details

  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publish Date: Oct 29th, 2024
  • Pages: 352
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.25in - 6.13in - 0.72in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780813080819
  • Categories: United States - State & Local - South (AL,AR,FL,GA,KY,LA,MS,ArchaeologySocial History

About the Author

Zierden, Martha A.: - Martha A. Zierden is curator of historical archaeology
at The Charleston Museum and has been involved in every major excavation
in Charleston since 1980.
Reitz, Elizabeth J.: - Elizabeth J. Reitz, professor of anthropology at the University of Georgia, is coauthor of Zooarchaeology, second edition.

Praise for this book

"A model for 21st-century urban historical archaeology. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

authors succeed admirably in marshaling an immense body of research,
conducted by themselves and many others over the course of decades, into
an accessible and fascinating book."--Journal of Southern History

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