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Preface Some of the chapters in this book were presented in 2007 as papers at the Society for Historical Archaeology in Williamsburg, Virginia. This session was designed to bring to light the newer work on French and Indian War fortifications, especially lesser-known sites away from the main war theaters. Despite their distant locations, many sites exhibited similar attributes , and the overviews tied them together. A decision was made to incorporate the expanded papers into a book that could be useful for teaching and research purposes, in part because the various papers’ bibliographies would lead to additional information about forts. Over the ensuing three years, the papers were received and reworked to present a more coherent view of the forts built during the mid-eighteenth century. While each site had different research questions, all provided some basic information that showed there were patterns at the forts that could be researched at still other posts. Even though most forts were at the very end of very long logistical trails, most exhibited traits typically found in the home countries. We are indebted to the authors who worked with us to produce this text. The chief archaeologists were diligent in keeping excavation notes and providing interpretive information about what they found. Old field notes allowed new interpretations long after the fact, something that is seen in these chapters. More important, we must thank all those people who researched and dug on the forts presented here. We could probably never identify them all at even one site because the list is so long. Without their enthusiastic and diligent work, much information would be lost. The text is dedicated to four archaeologists who worked on French and Indian War forts. The first is J. C. Harrington, who really started historical archaeology with his detailed examination of documents, maps, and the archaeological record at Fort Necessity, Pennsylvania. The second is Jacob Grimm, whose detailed report on Fort Ligonier set a standard for xvi · Preface reporting and also served as the equipment book for two generations of reenactors and their suppliers. The third is Gilbert Hagerty, the researcher who not only clarified a multi-fort location but also trekked the route followed by the French who destroyed Fort Bull. The fourth archaeologist is Chuck Fisher, who was slated to give one of the Williamsburg papers but became terminally ill. Regrettably, he has since passed away, and his chapter was reworked by Paul Huey. These four archaeologists represent what the French and Indian War forts have always needed: good research, careful excavation, detailed recording, and a clear eye for interpretation. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and a great deal of thanks. If they hadn’t done good work, we couldn’t have produced this study. Any errors are our own. ...


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