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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses how research questions are created in historical archaeology. It tackles how archaeologists find evidence and apply it to understanding problems that are often given by constituents, as opposed to being predefined by the archaeologists. Definitions in historical archaeology do not come automatically with the field either. Defining methods in historical archaeology is something that is envisioned throughout the process of doing historical archaeology. This means comprehending why a site is being excavated, understanding the motivations and the impacts of the data on the site’s constituents, and producing data in a manner cognizant of the power that archaeological interpretations can hold. This chapter exemplifies one way to define historical archaeology—through the lens of African American enslavement and European scientific gardening—using archaeological work at an eighteenth-century greenhouse/orangery located at the Wye House Plantation in Easton, Maryland, USA.

Keywords: scientific gardening, African American, Wye House, method, slavery, greenhouse/orangery

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