Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Archaeology
This thesis is an investigation of the Fred Graves Site, an abandoned nineteenth century farmstead in Alamance County, North Carolina. A standing dwelling, and other structures that are interpreted to be related to agricultural and commercial pursuits, are all that physically remain of a once thriving family’s base of operations. Abandoned since 1928, the farmstead has become overgrown with trees and is unknown by most people outside the descendant community. Archival research was used to discover what activities took place at the farmstead as well as insight into the lives of a community’s past population. In addition to archival research, an archaeological survey was conducted to document structural remains and to enable mapping of the site. Archival evidence depicts this site as the scene of distilling, leather tanning, blacksmithing, agricultural production, and the center of several community events. Archaeological survey reveals structural remains that could represent the infrastructure needed to support and house those activities. Mapping presents a picture of how one family utilized the landscape at their disposal. Information acquired from this project will hopefully become the basis for a more in depth examination of a past community’s adaptation to cultural, societal, and technological changes over time.