Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. LouAnn Wurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Bilinda Straight

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Mullins


Consumption, archaeology, kinship, farmsteads, age

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


While anthropologists have often emphasized the importance of factors such as the household's age, lifecycle, and kinship within the context of the wider community, archaeologists have paid less attention to these factors. Using data from the excavations of eighteen farms in the Finger Lakes National Forest, occupied from the 19th century into the 1930s, I examine how household age influenced the consumer choices made by a sample of households and how aspects of production and consumption were prioritized within this context. By examining broad patterns in the archaeological and historic data, an age-based analysis as a young/old categorization is juxtaposed against an interpretation of aging as a process that occurred over time to highlight and explore the complexities in approaching these issues. The role of kinship in structuring the prioritization of consumption and production on these farms is explored. I argue that accounting for these multiple issues adds nuance to archaeological interpretations by situating these households both within their own lifecycle and within the inter-household social world they inhabited, while also providing a more holistic examination of consumption as it relates to production.