Lu Ann De Cunzo


Like our colleagues across the Northeast, Delaware archaeologists have been challenged by the state's thousands of 19th- through 20th-century agricultural sites. They range from larger farms to small tenancies and laborers' dwellings; many remain at least partially extant, many others survive only below ground. This article introduces the character and diversity, continuity and transformations of 19th- through mid 20th-century Delaware agriculture and rural life, and archaeologists' contributions to our understanding of these phenomena. Narratives of selected agricultural properties and people from New Castle County's Upper Coastal Plain illustrate the approach and the knowledge it has produced, with special emphases on the interrelationships linking agricultural households, material life on rural properties, agricultural landscapes, and technology. The presentation concludes with proposed directions for the archaeology of agriculture and agraian life in Delaware and throughout the Northeast.