Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Barbara J. Heath

Committee Members

Timothy E. Baumann, Kandace D. Hollenbach


In this thesis, I examine the effects of urbanization on the landscape and the people who lived upon it at archaeological site 40KN223 within the Old City in Knoxville, Tennessee. This landscape analysis focuses particularly on the decades from 1850 to 1920 during the birth and growth of the Old City. Amid the rising tides of commercialization, industrialization, and the flood-prone waters of First Creek, residents established a working-class neighborhood on the fringe of a substantial African American community. I examine this neighborhood and the transformation of its immediate landscape to understand how urbanization impacted its transformation, to learn who the residents of this neighborhood were and how meaning was imbued upon the land. Through this research, I also examine the relationship between urban renewal events of the mid-twentieth century and a similar displacement event at 40KN223 in the early twentieth century to understand the origins of African American removal and displacement on Knoxville’s landscape. I also consider how daily life was impacted by the urbanization process through the study of primary documents, written histories, academic research, and excavated material culture.

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