Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. LouAnn Wurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Britt Hartenberger

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet Coryell


Archaeology, historical, canning jars, 19thcentury, farmsteads

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Typically, late 19th or early 20th century domestic sites contain fragments of a common item: canning jars. Such is the case regarding 21 sites along the Hector Backbone in New York State. These sites, investigated by the Finger Lakes National Forest Farmstead Archaeology Project, produced a rich sample of over 250,000 artifacts and thousands related to canning.

The objective of this thesis is to explore the potential of these common artifacts to yield important information about these Backbone households. Specifically, my questions include: when did these households adopt canning and who were they?

The intentional decision to include all 21 sites in one analysis provided a platform to examine a wide range of several social factors relative to these households that may have impacted their decision to can. This simple straight forward material analysis creates a sense of what canning meant for these Backbone residents.