Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Benjamin Ford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sarah Neusius, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jonathan Burns, Ph.D.


Exploratory excavations of Fort Shirley (36HU94) have taken place past five years through Pennsylvania State University. Currently, sufficient evidence from the site has been collected to allow for an initial spatial analysis and an examination of the inter-cultural interaction at the site to be conducted. A new schema for the classification of artifacts by ethnicity is proposed. By classifying artifacts by functional group and attributed ethnicity, comparisons between Fort Shirley and contemporary fort sites were made to reinforce the historic claims of Native American presence at the site. The examination of Fort Shirley's artifacts at the site and feature levels has provided insight into the organization of activities and interaction at the site. There was found to be a clear split in site-use and loci of activities at the site along ethnic lines. These findings have spurred the formulation of other research questions to be addressed in the future.