Date of Award

2002

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Advisor

Alaric Faulkner

Second Committee Member

Martha McNamara

Third Committee Member

Liam Riordan

Abstract

From August 1607 to summer or fall 1608, the Popham Colony was established on what is now known as Hossketch Point, in Popham Beach, Maine. Rediscovered in 1994, the archaeological remains of the colony are providing insights into one of England's earliest colonial efforts in North America. Among the most exciting hds, are features relating to early seventeenth-century English building practices. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of the colony's six meter wide by twenty meter long storehouse, the "Admiral's howse," one of two apparently connected buildings, the buttery general or the Corporal's house; and what has tentatively been identified as the "Vice Admiral's howse." The storehouse was timber framed and earthfast posts were employed as footings. The arrangement of postholes and postmolds indicate that in building it, carpenters first assembled its wall sections on the ground, then tilted those assemblies into place. This technique is known as "normal assembly." Further, the storehouse was built with interrupted sills and had wattle and daub walls. The storehouse was destroyed by fire, possibly as the fort was abandoned in 1608. The Admiral's house was considerably smaller than the storehouse, though its dimensions remain unknown. Like the storehouse, the Admiral's dwelling was timber framed, and its regularly arranged posts were set in holes in lieu of a foundation. Sometime during the settlement's short life, possibly during the winter, the structure burned. The colonists subsequently replaced the structure on nearly the same site. The Admiral's dwelling differed from the storehouse in having a semi-circular stone hearth and a wattle and daub chimney. The exact arrangement of this hearth and chimney with respect to its building remains unclear, as do most other details of the Admiral's house construction. Similarly, evidence fiom other structures within the fort remain incomplete, and from conclusions about their appearance and construction cannot yet be made.

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