Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Kelly J. Dixon

Commitee Members

John Douglas, Maria Craig


gender, historical archaeology, masculinity


University of Montana


The recovery of a scorifier, or roasting dish, at Feature 131 in Coloma, Montana led to the theory that the feature represented an assayer’s household. Historical documentation, in the form of a personal diary, revealed that the assayer at Coloma, Chester Pray, shared a cabin with another man. This revelation led to a particular question: what would the material record of an all-male household look like? The majority of previous engendered investigations into 19th century households focused on the role of women. Gender is often equated with women in historical and archaeological studies, and it became necessary to integrate literature from masculinity studies in order to put the artifacts from Feature 131 into a full context. Although results from the archaeological data in this case were inconclusive, the compilation of literature from household archaeology, engendered archaeology, history, and masculinity studies in this thesis will be useful for any historical archaeologist working on sites in the mining West.



© Copyright 2010 Margaret Anne Thurlo