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Consumer Strategy and Household Consumption in the Cripple Creek Mining District, Colorado, USA

  • Sam R. Sweitz
Article

Abstract

The Cripple Creek Mining District of Colorado (USA) was billed as “the World’s Greatest Gold Camp” in the 1890s and was home to a multitude of men, women, and children who left behind a record of past consumer behavior. Examination of fourteen household archaeological assemblages provides insight into aspects of household consumption strategies and the negotiation of socioeconomic class relationships within the late nineteenth and early twentieth century mining communities in the American West. An analytical approach that combines the quantitative economic scaling of ceramics and faunal remains is used in combination with the qualitative analysis of entire assemblages to understand consumer strategies and the negotiation of class relationships between households in the district.

Keywords

Mining communities Household archaeology Consumer agency Ceramic and faunal economic scaling Cripple Creek Mining District, Colorado 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the Colorado Historical Society for allowing me the opportunity to work with the archaeological materials and data collected from the Cripple Creek Mining District. I am particularly indebted to Colorado State Archaeologist Susan Collins for her support. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company for funding the archaeological research and for providing the funds that made this work possible. In particular I thank Anna Lee Sweitz for donating her time and effort in helping to complete the faunal analysis crucial to this work and for her continued support over the years. Finally, I thank the two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped greatly with the preparation of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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