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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The fur trade was a multifaceted, global phenomenon that had a formative influence on the history and cultures of post-contact North America. Archaeological investigations of fur trade-related sites coincide with the inception of historical archaeology. This chapter begins with a brief historical overview of the fur trades and summarizes some of the interpretive frameworks that have been employed to organize this phenomenon spatially and temporally. It also discusses the historiography of the archaeologies of the fur trades and examines how sites and sources have been mined, and what has been learned. While early efforts were oriented towards data recovery for reconstruction to aid in interpretation, more problem-oriented research has been conducted over the past three decades to study subsistence, social identity, cultural accommodation, land use, and symbolism of both European and aboriginal peoples involved in the fur trades. The archaeology of the fur trades remains relevant in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: fur trade, subsistence, social identity, cultural accommodation, exchange relations, colonialism, materiality, ethnogenesis, Fort St Joseph, North America

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