The People of the Lonely Place: An Archaeological Exploration of Community Structure within the Great Dismal Swamp
Degree awarded: M.A. Anthropology. American University The Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina was once home to many seeking refuge from colonial system, histories that remain hidden or forgotten within today's view of the swamp. The resistance communities that found refuge within the boundaries of the swamp include Disenfranchised Native Americans, African Maroons, and any others seeking a life free of colonial influence. The Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study (GDSLS) was formed in order to archaeologically explore these resistance communities in terms of their diasporan and exilic characteristics and make known their marginalized pasts. The project employs a predictive model of community structure labeled the Modes of Communitization, which includes the Semi-Independent Mode, the Scission Mode and the Labor Exploitation Mode. This exposition explores the Scission Mode (interior) and archaeologically tests whether or not those communities formed on the north plateau of the nameless site display traits associated with interior community formation.