Patricia E. Rubertone Professor of Anthropology

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

The Scrapbook Exercise: Teaching Archaeology of Death as Critical Thinking. In Archaeology to Delight and Instruct: Active Learning in the Teritiary Classroom, edited by Claire Smith and Jay B. Haviser, One World Archaeology Series. University College London Press, UK (In Press).

Rhode Island Archaeology: Cocumscussoc and Queen's Fort. In Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia, edited by Francis P. McManamon, Linda S. Cordell, Kent Lightfoot, and George R. Milner, Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT (In Press).

Teaching Anthropology in the 21st Century: A Case for "Archaeology of Death." Anthropology News 44(9): 19-20 (2003).

Grave Undertakings: An Archaeology of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC and London (2001).

Review of Gender and the Archaeology of Death, edited by Bettina Arnold and Nancy L. Wicker (Alta Mira 2001). American Antiquity 69(1): 164-165.

Review of Making History in Banda: Archaeological Visions of Africa's Past by Ann B. Stahl (Cambridge 2001). Anthropological Quarterly 78 (2): 497-500 (2005).

Review of Societies in Eclipse: Archaeology of the Eastern Woodlands Indians, A.D. 1400-1700, edited by David S. Brose et al. al. (Smithsonian Institution Press 2001). Northeast Anthropology 64 (Fall): 95-96 (2002).

The Historical Archaeology of Native Americans. Annual Review of Anthropology 29: 425-446 (2000).

Review of King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676 by James D. Drake, (University of Massachusetts Press 1999). The Journal of American History 87(4): 33 (2001).

Review Essay of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity by Jill Lepore (Knopf 1998). The Journal of American History 85(4): 1548-1549 (1999).

Review of Studies in Culture Contact: Interaction, Culture Change, and Archaeology, Occasional Paper No. 25, edited by James G. Cusick (Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University 1998). American Anthropologist 102: 164-165 (2000).

The Common Ground of Contested Space: Historical Archaeology and American Landscapes. American Anthropologist 99(4): 3-5 (1997).

Matters of Inclusion: Historical Archaeology and Native Americans. World Archaeology Bulletin, No. 7: 77-86. (Special Issue, Current Perspectives on Global Historical Archaeology, edited by Charles E. Orser) (1996).

The Search for Philip: King Philip's War in New England. In Invisible America: Unearthing Our Hidden History, edited by Mark P. Leone and Neil Asher Silberman, pp. 100-101. Henry Holt, New York (1995).

Southern New England: Beaver, Wampum and Profit. In Invisible America: Unearthing Our Hidden History, edited by Mark P. Leone and Neil Asher Silberman, pp. 72-73. Henry Holt, New York (1995).

Archaeology, Colonialism, and Seventeenth-Century Native America: Towards an Alternative Interpretation. In Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions, edited by Robert Layton, pp. 32-45. Routledge, London and New York. (new edition) (1994)

Grave Remembrances: Enduring Traditions Among the Narragansett. Connecticut History 35 (1): 22-45. (Special Issue, Reshaping Traditions: Native Americans and Europeans in Southern New England, edited by John Allen) (1994).

Review of Pioneers in Historical Archaeology: Breaking New Ground, edited by Stanley South (Plenum 1994). American Antiquity, 61(3): 613-614 (1996).

Landscape as Artifact: Comments on "The Archaeological Use of Landscape Treatment in Social, Economic and Ideological Analysis." Historical Archaeology 23:50-54 (1989).

Archaeology, Colonialism, and Seventeenth Century Native America: Towards an Alternative Interpretation. In Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions, edited by Robert Layton, pp. 32-45. One World Archaeology Series. Unwin Hyman, Ltd., London (1989).

Review of Consumer Choice in Historical Archaeology, edited by Suzanne M. Spencer-Wood, Plenum Press, New York, 1987. American Antiquity 55(3): 639-640 (1990).

Historical Landscapes: The Archaeology of Place and Space. Man in the Northeast 31:123-138 (1986).

Preliminary Biocultural Interpretations from a Seventeenth Century Narragansett Indian Cemetery in Rhode Island. In Cultures in Contact, The Impact of European Contacts on Native American Cultural Institutions, A.D. 1000-1800, edited by William Fitzhugh, pp. 107-130.Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC and London (with Paul A. Robinson and Marc A. Kelley) (1985).

Urban Land Use and Artifact Deposition: An Archaeological Study of Change in Providence, Rhode Island. In Archaeology of Urban America: The Search for Pattern and Process, edited by Roy S. Dickens, pp. 117-142. Academic Press, New York (1982).

An Approach to the Archaeology of the City: The Roger Williams National Memorial Project. In Archaeology of Urban America: the Search for Pattern and Process, edited by Roy S. Dickens, pp. 19-39.Academic Press, New York (1982).

Urban Hinterlands as Frontiers of Colonialization in Pre-industrial New England. In The Archaeology of Frontiers and Boundaries, edited by Stanton W. Green and Stephen M. Perlman, pp. 231-249.Academic Press, New York (with Peter F. Thorbahn) (1982).

Medieval Archaeology at Qsar es-Seghir, Morocco. Journal of Field Archaeology 6: 1-16 (with Charles L. Redman and Ronald D. Anzalone) (1979).

Qsar es-Seghir Three Seasons of Excavation. Bulletin d'Archaeologie Marocaine 10:151-195 (with Charles L. Redman and Ronald D. Anzalone) (1978).

Qsar es-Seghir. Note on Three Seasons of Excavation. Storia Della Citta (International Review of Town Planning History) 7:11-19 (with Charles L. Redman and Ronald D. Anzalone) (1978).

research overview

I combine archaeology, history, and anthropology to study colonialism, landscapes, and cultural diversity and difference. My archaeological and historical studies in New England focus on colonial encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, with an emphasis on tracing the lives and experiences of Native Americans in postcolonial contexts. I am currently doing research on Native American monuments that explores the relationship between commemoration and ideas about colonialist erasure, attempting to build connections between place-making, community histories and memories, and archaeology.

research statement

In the 1980s, I co-directed the excavation of a 17th-century Narragansett Indian burial ground in Rhode Island accidentally discovered during construction. My involvement developed into a long-term research commitment and collaborative partnership with the Narragansett Indians focused on interpreting the material record to illuminate the lived experiences of a Native people in ways that would challenge "common knowledge." The interpretive approach emphasized how material culture, both "Native" and "European," expressed identities that neither reflected acculturation, nor social hierarchies among the burials; but instead, represented the intersections of several dimensions of difference. The research used the holistic methods of historical anthropology to combine the archaeology with archival data and oral histories to construct a many-sided and more comprehensive, account of colonial experiences.

In the 1990s, I initiated an archaeological project at the site of Cocumscussoc aimed at examining a European frontier settlement and trading post located in Narragansett Indian Country, just a short distance from the burial ground. The research explored multi-ethnic archaeological history of the site, which was occupied by European colonists (and European Americans), African slaves, and Native Americans, and related changes in its cultural landscapes before, during, and after the 17th century. The archaeological materials from the site, which are curated at Brown through an agreement with the Cocumscussoc Association, serve as a study collection for students for learning skills in historic artifact identification and interpretation.

I am currently doing research on Native American monuments in New England that explores how memorials create, sustain, and erase history and cultural identity. The research uses a landscape and diachronic approach that situates public monuments in contexts of long-term and on-going histories of place and memorialization.

funded research

2005-06 Departmental research fund for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Award, Brown University, "Studies of Graffiti on Native American Monuments in Southern New England" ($2,000)

2004-05 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Archaeological Histories of Native American Monuments in Rhode Island"
($2,500)

2004-05 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Archaeological Studies of a Colonial Heritage Site in Rhode Island" ($3,000)

2004-05 Departmental research fund for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Award, Brown University, "Place-Making and Memory-Keeping in Southern New England" (continued) ($1,500)

2003-04 Departmental research fund for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Award, Brown University, "Place-Making and Memory-Keeping in Southern New England" ($2,000)

1993-94 Salomon Grant, Brown University, Lecture ($500)

1991-92 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University
"Deconstructing Anglo-centrism in Colonial New England: A Consideration of Dutch-Indian Trade" ($800)

1991-92 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Colonialism and Creolization in Narragansett Country" ($2,800)

1991-92 Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, Grant-in-Aid, for historical
archaeological investigations at Cocumscussoc, $7,338.00

1990-91 Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, Grant-in-Aid, Project
Director, "Archaeological Study of Smith's Castle (Cocumscussoc)", $9,010.00

1990-91 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Archaeology and Multiculturalims"

1989-90 Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, Grant-in-Aid, "Historical
Archaeology at Cocumscussoc: A Pilot Study for Local Preservation Planning", $13,043.00

1987-88 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Patterning in Mortuary Assemblages"

1987-88 Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellows Grants, Brown University,
"Teaching Archaeology"

1986 Island Committee for the Humanities, Public Project and Challenge Grant, for
"Peoples in Contact" symposium ((with Barbara Hail) $7,003.00

1985-86 Salomon Grant, Brown University

1984-85 Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, Grant-in-Aid, for "Towards a
Contextualization of Contact Period Archaeology in Rhode Island", $13,025.00

1983-84 Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission and National Park Service,
Survey and Planning Grant, "Recovery and Analysis of a 17th-century Narragansett Indian Burial Ground", $49,502.00

1982-83 Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, Public Project and Planning Grant,
for "Historical Archaeology in a Natural Laboratory: Linking the Past to the
Present"

1982-84 Salomon Grant, Brown University

1980-81 Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, Public Project and Planning Grant,
for "Historical Archaeology in a Natural Laboratory: Linking the Past to the
Present"

1980 National Park Service, for "Historic Grounds Study, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site"

1980 National Park Service, for "Historic Period Settlement, Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts"

1980 National Park Service, for "Archaeological Investigations at Fort McHenry,
Baltimore, Maryland"

1980 National Park Service, for "Background Study of Maine Coastal Life in the
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries"

1979 National Park Service, for "Archaeological Investigations at the Roger Williams
National Memorial, Providence, Rhode Island"