Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 75 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sean Rafferty

Committee Members

Charles Orser


Historical Archaeology, Shaker, Utopian Movement, Watervliet, Archaeology and history

Subject Categories

History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


To date Shaker archaeology is currently in a relatively primitive stage. Most investigation at Shaker sites has resulted from construction projects and these surveys say very little about Shaker life. It was not until David Starbuck's 2004 "Neither Plain Nor Simple: New Perspectives on the Canterbury Shakers" did a major interpretive work on the Shaker's appear. An opportunity arose to work with the Shaker Heritage Society at Watervliet to do a limited survey at a Dwelling House site. This opportunity was used to test Starbuck's conclusions at another Shaker village. The findings reveal that the Shakers were indeed not strictly plain nor simple and a wide variety of evidence ranging from historical documents to ceramic frequencies are used to demonstrate this point.