At Antiquity we prioritize historical and archaeological research and context development. Our clients benefit from our commitment to advancing regional archaeology and history through well-developed and succinct research designs. Each year our staff present their research at regional and/or national conferences, which helps us build our research network.
The Status of Northwest Historical Archaeology: An Analysis of Representation
Bethany K. Mathews and Michelle R. Lynch
2023 The Status of Northwest Historical Archaeology: An Analysis of Representation, poster presented at the 76th Northwest Anthropological Conference, Spokane, WA, April 13.
Historic-period archaeological research comprises a substantial portion of the cultural resource management archaeology completed in the Northwest every year. How do we define historical archaeology in the Northwest? How much of our research is focused on historic-period archaeological sites? Does the archaeological community publish the results of historic-period archaeological research proportionally? Do cultural resource assessment background reviews and their resulting research designs identify diverse histories in the Northwest? This poster presents data on Northwest historical archaeology in presentations, publications, and cultural resource management literature to begin to evaluate the status of Northwest historical archaeology in cultural resource management.
Washington Women’s Homesteading, 1862–1949: Developing a Historic Context of Women’s Homesteading Experiences
Bethany K. Mathews
2023 Washington Women’s Homesteading, 1862–1949: Developing a Historic Context of Women’s Homesteading Experiences, Society for American Archaeology, Portland, OR, March 30.
The Homestead Act of 1862 enabled feme soles — women who were legally single, widowed, divorced, or deserted— to claim up to 160 acres of land. In Washington State 8.5 million acres (20%) of lands were claimed through the Homestead Act; and although feme soles were a minority of these homesteaders, their homesteading experiences illustrate important themes of American settlement and industry. As a place-based heritage, women’s homesteading history presents a rare prospect to study and preserve sites of women’s history, including the history of women’s rights, the history of suffrage, and queer history. One of the objectives of the Washington Women’s Homesteading History project is to explore the spatial and temporal patterns of homesteading across Washington State, to understand women’s motivations for homesteading and immigration. This poster presents summary data of women’s homesteading history in Washington’s Channeled Scablands, Okanogan Highlands, Northern Puget Sound, Southern Puget Sound, Southwest Washington, and Washington Coast regions, and explores context themes for future study.
Women Homesteaders of Northeastern Washington: Orcharding in the Okanogan Highlands
Bethany K. Mathews
2023 Women Homesteaders of Northeastern Washington: Orcharding in the Okanogan Highlands, poster presented at the 76th Northwest Anthropological Conference, Spokane, WA, April 13.
Homesteading in Washington’s Okanogan Highlands occurred later than in other parts of the State, with very few Americans claiming Homestead Act lands here until the 1890s. American settlement and land claims began to peak in the Okanogan Highlands in the early 1900s, shortly after surveyors mapped out available government lands. Railroads expanded in the area at this time, and small Okanogan communities were promoted as emerging boom towns. New irrigation districts encouraged orcharding and farming in a region that had previously supported transient mining. Does the history of homesteading in the Okanogan Highlands reflect this change in the economy? This poster presents summary data of women’s homesteading history in Washington’s Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties and explores connections between homesteading and orcharding histories in this region.
Women Homesteaders of Washington’s Channeled Scablands: Summary Statistics and Spatial Patterns for 5 Counties
Bethany K. Mathews
2022 Women Homesteaders of Washington’s Channeled Scablands: Summary Statistics and Spatial Patterns for 5 Counties, Northwest Anthropological Conference, virtual, March 10.
Western historians estimate that nearly a quarter of all American homesteaders were women and that most women’s homesteading occurred after 1900, shortly before American homesteading was at its peak in the 1910s. An analysis of western Washington homestead records concluded that feme sole women comprised only 3.5% of homesteaders, and that homesteading peaked in the late 1880s and sharply declined in 1899. How does this compare to the homesteading history of the Channeled Scablands, where the Homestead Act requirement to farm presented distinctive challenges? This poster presents summary data of women’s homesteading history in Washington’s Channeled Scablands and explores the temporal and spatial patterns of women’s homesteading history.