An Old Place, Safe and Quiet

A Blackstone River Valley Cremation Burial Site

by Alan Leveillee


Details the first professional discovery and excavation of a Transitional Archaic Susquehanna Tradition secondary cremation burial in Massachusetts.

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Cover image for An Old Place, Safe and Quiet

April 2002


Pages 216
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture

Over 3,000 years ago, in what would be northern North America, there was a cultural fluorescence. Native Americans were exchanging materials and ideas over long distances, and their shamans were overseeing treatment of the dead and conducting ceremonies to insure entry into the spirit world. The author details how archaeologists discovered their story.

The discovery, excavation, and interpretation of data on one of the most significant ancient Native American archaeological sites in the Northeast is chronicled. Research team leader Alan Leveillee outlines the regional, environmental, and cultural contexts, details the archaeological methodology, and synthesizes the results of analyses of lithics, metals, flora, fauna, and soils, and presents the on-site observations and interpretations of the Native American representative of the team.

Focusing on the discovery and subsequent archaeological approach to the first professionally excavated secondary burial complex in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Leveillee demonstrates that anthropological models enable consideration of how artifacts and features reveal 3,500-year-old ideologies, ceremonies, and social systems—the archaeology of ideas.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionEnvironmental SettingCultural ContextResearch Design and MethodologiesThe Archaeological Record: Features and ArtifactsAnalytical ResultsInterpretationsEpilogueReferencesGlossaryAppendix: Transcripts of Native American Representative Conversation Logs



[t]his book is to be widely recommended, and it should be an indispensable reference for all regional prehistorians and students of mortuary behavior generally.—Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology

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