University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: David R. Starbuck

Military Hospitals on the Frontier of Colonial America

By: David R. Starbuck

Health care in 18th-century America was radically different from today, and one of the greatest contrasts is in the role played by hospitals. The 18th-century hospital was a rar­ity, except in urban settings such as New York and Philadelphia where the poor needed inexpen­sive, readily accessible health care and could not afford to get it at home. […]


New Perspectives on Shaker Life

An Archaeologist Discovers 'Hog Heaven' at Canterbury Shaker Village

By: David R. Starbuck

I had concluded a conversation. But informal conversations could often be very revealing about the behavior that was (or was not) acceptable within Shaker society. One day, when I asked Eldress Gertrude why a Sister never smiled in photographs taken of her, the instant—and fierce—response was “because she’s so vain.” On another occasion, when I asked […]


By Yon Bonnie Banks

An Archaeological Search for Clan MacFarlane

By: David R. Starbuck

ScotLand has traditionally evoked images of plaids, bagpipes, haggis, thrift, hospitality, and sheep as far as the eye can see. More recently, another image has been added: that of Mel Gibson as the revered Scottish patriot William Wallace in the movie Braveheart, proudly proclaiming his desire for freedom from his English oppressors. While there are […]


The “Massacre” at Fort William Henry

History Archaeology, and Re-enactement

By: David R. Starbuck

The clash of cultures on the colonial frontier of 18th century America pitted British against French and Indian against Indian, creating cultural misunderstandings that have had lasting consequences for both the United States and Canada. Popular interest in these colonial wars has been renewed recently with the 250th anniversary of the siege and “massacre” at Fort […]