Several states already boast volumes showcasing their archeological history, but not New Hampshire--until now. David R. Starbuck's volume fills that void. Going beyond standard state guides that focus primarily on prehistoric sites, Starbuck also devotes equal time to historic, industrial, and nautical sites. This approach reflects the thinking of most contemporary archeologists who conduct research at a diverse range of sites.
A veteran of thirty years of field research throughout the Granite State, Starbuck revisits some of his own sites, including excavations at the New England Glassworks in Temple, two prehistoric sites on the Merrimack River, the Joseph Hazeltine pottery workshop outside Concord, the Governor Wentworth Estate in Wolfeboro, and his own long-term survey and excavation project at Canterbury Shaker Village. At the same time, though, Starbuck includes the work of other contemporary New Hampshire archeologists, representative sites of “old-timers” whose digs preceded his arrival, and the investigations of avocational diggers.
Starbuck's introduction offers an anecdotal history of archeological research in New Hampshire through the people who shaped it. Part I discusses discoveries that predate white settlement: the Paleo-Indian Period; the Archaic Period; and the Woodland Period. Part II moves from the seventeenth century to the present. Chapters include historical archeology (forts, farms, potters, Shakers); industrial archeology (mills, factories, railroads, dams, and bridges); and nautical archeology (discoveries in the state's lakes and on the seacoast).
In addition to summarizing some of the more interesting finds, Starbuck includes stories about archeologists and the techniques they have used to glean information from the past. Overall, he provides a lively account of what it is like to practice archeology in a small but dynamic New England state.