Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 7-22-2010


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Anthropology, Under the Supervision of Professor Paul A. Demers. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2010
Copyright 2010 David M. Amrine


During the 2005 and 2006 archaeological field schools headed by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, excavations were carried out at the Beaver Creek Trail Crossing Site (25SW49) in Seward County, Nebraska. These excavations recovered various kinds of artifacts including a large assemblage of nails. Using data from nails recovered from both the 2005 and 2006 field seasons, this thesis shows that the counts and spatial distributions of the machine-cut nails in the assemblage are consistent with photographs of the site taken in 1866. It also argues for the use of nails as major structural indicators when activities such as salvaging have removed any other structural remains at a site. This activity occurred often in the Midwest, making nails especially useful in this region of North America.