A Counter-Archaeology of Labor and Leisure in Setauket, New York

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Setauket, New York, a small village on Long Island, has a historical narrative connecting it to the fabric of colonial and early America. Historic sites and structures in Setauket provide the setting for this narrative and support its tourist industry. Additionally, an important minority community comprised of the descendants of colonized Native Americans and enslaved Africans has concrete connections to Setauket’s past. Despite their documented and physical presence, Native Americans and African Americans have been almost entirely left out of local history. The descendant community actively countered their historical marginalization by collaborating with archaeologists to recover aspects of their heritage in the village. This research has developed a counter-narrative that not only returns non-whites to historic white spaces, but explains how non-whites were removed from these spaces through a process of segregation tied to the creation of a leisure economy.



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