The Susquehannocks

New Perspectives on Settlement and Cultural Identity

Edited by Paul A. Raber

Paperback - £23.95

Publication date:

13 September 2019

Length of book:

200 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271084763

In the thirty-five years since the publication of Barry Kent’s seminal book, Susquehanna’s Indians, new and novel technologies, interpretive perspectives, and archaeological data have led to a reassessment of many aspects of Susquehannock life. This book presents these developments, bringing the study of the Susquehannocks into modern anthropological context.

An Iroquoian group that inhabited the lower Susquehanna River valley and portions of the Potomac River drainage, the Susquehannocks were key agents in the fur trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were consequently targets of sporadic warfare by the Iroquois Confederacy and attempted to seek refuge in a series of fortified villages near the Susquehanna River, but they were dispersed by the European colonizers, and in 1763 settlers massacred the remnants of the original nation. Drawing from evidence produced by new excavations, the eight essays in this volume provide original views on various aspects of the Susquehannocks’ history, including their origins, geographical spread, and contact with nonnative cultures. An important update to the history of the indigenous people of Pennsylvania, this collection will be welcomed by professional and avocational archaeologists interested in contact and colonialism as well as enthusiasts of Pennsylvania Native American history.

In addition to the editor, the contributors include Marshall Joseph Becker, April M. Beisaw, Jasmine Gollup, James T. Herbstritt, Lisa Marie Lauria, Dean R. Snow, Robert D. Wall, and Andrew Wyatt.

“A worthy successor to Barry Kent’s classic work on the Susquehannock, probably the least known of the northern Iroquoian people. Building on Kent’s original synthesis, this volume adds important new information and offers a range of analytical perspectives. This volume brings us up to date not only on Susquehannock people and their culture, but also on how archaeology is being practiced in the twenty-first century.”

—James Bradley, author of Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region, 1600–1664