Hidden Vestiges: An Approach to Recognizing an 18th Century Historic Landscape within an Urban Environment

Larry Bernie James, Jr.

           Archaeological landscapes set in urban environments present challenges for the study and understanding of past archaeological landscapes and their physical remains. This thesis addresses this problem by presenting a methodology that contributes to the study of Battlefield Archaeology and the events of the 18th-century American Revolutionary War battle called the Siege of Pensacola. A non-invasive approach to understanding this battlefield landscape has offered a way to reconcile the modern urban landscape with a past landscape of conflict. By combining historical maps and documents with previous archaeological investigations, a descriptive model was developed that placed key landmarks and events on the modern city grid. New data from a resident survey was used to evaluate how well this model describes the battlefield. The comparison of the model to the new data required a reconciliation that refines the placement of the events of 1781 on the modern landscape and validated the utility of the methods used for the study of battlefields in urban settings.