Historic Research

    ACS is as much a historic research firm as an archaeological firm.  This is in part based on the interdisciplinary nature of archaeology which draws upon theoretical concepts and methodological approaches from the physical sciences, the social sciences, as well as historic research with the ultimate goal of reconstructing past lifeways.  Modern archaeological theory has its roots in anthropology which tends to target broad-scale cultural patterns rather than documenting human behavior through specific events, although there is no question that historic research has been a considerable resource to archaeologists employing multiple lines of evidence to reconstruct the past.

    While there were no Native American written languages in North America preceding the arrival of Europeans, journals of the earliest explorers provide a wealth of information regarding not only the historic sequence of events during the Contact period, but also the cultural customs of aboriginal populations such as settlement behavior, resource procurement, and social structure. With respect to subsequent historic periods, the written record proliferated to the point that historic research includes a host of sources such as land records, historic maps, probate records, genealogies, and local history texts.  Even personal informants can be fruitful sources of historic information, particularly where older local inhabitants have first hand knowledge of historic sites and their former uses.  ACS has also engaged in historic literary studies including those focussing on Native American folklore and a comparison of spiritual worldviews across cultures.  The following list of projects include those which primarily employed historic research as a means of conserving cultural resources and/or evaluating past cultural systems.

- Native American Burials and Cemeteries in Eastern Connecticut -
- GIS Applications: Historic New London Waterfront -
- Documenting Culture Through Literature: Native American Folklore Studies -

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