Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Charles Faulkner

Committee Members

Walter E. Klippel, Jan Simek


The archaeological study of early commercial sites and their contribution to regional development has been lacking, particularly in the Upland South. As an adaptive response of an expanding society, these sites originated through specific cultural and historical factors. Via these locations moved people, information, and consumer goods. These sites were strong integrative forces in frontier development and served as infrastructure for an expanding society. A better understanding of the active role that commercial sites played in local and regional development is presented. This is accomplished by a historical, archaeological, and geographical study of the Exchange Place (40SL22), Kingsport, Tennessee. Following a discussion of the historical and archaeological background of the Exchange Place, 1996 testing at the site is evaluated for information pertaining to site history and location of archaeological features. This research will examine the cultural manifestations of the commercial activity at the Exchange Place and the farmstead's commercial development as a manifestation of cultural processes and regional development. The "antebellum commercial farmstead" is offered as a unique site that characterizes the Exchange Place and possibly other historic sites with similar commercial histories. The site will then be contextualized within southern Appalachia, a newly formed United States, and a growing capitalist world­-system.

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