Michele Hayeur Smith

Michele Hayeur Smith
Bridgewater State University · Department of Anthropology

PhD Archaeology

About

26
Publications
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105
Citations

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
Identifying foreign cloth imports in the Icelandic archaeological corpus is difficult at best, yet given widespread similarities in homespun cloth from sites across the country, imported cloth can be identified visually through the presence of refined finishing techniques (such as teaseling, shearing, and fulling) that were uncommon in Iceland and...
Article
Full-text available
In 1938, a woman’s burial was uncovered by road builders at Ketilsstaðir in north-eastern Iceland. Recently, her physical remains and associated funerary goods were re-examined by an international, interdisciplinary team and formed the basis for an exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland in 2015. This paper focuses on the items of dress that a...
Research
Full-text available
Contexts is the Annual Report of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University, providing short reports on current and on-going research, overviews of programs and grants, and student / faculty engagement with the Museum, its collections, and its exhibitions and public programs. Editor: Kevin P. Smith, Brown University, Haffenreffer...
Chapter
In medieval Iceland, apparently alone among the North Atlantic Norse colonies, cloth evolved into a highly standardized form of currency within a broader-based commodity-money system imported from Norway. Within the Icelandic economy, the production of currency cloth (vaðmál or vöruvaðmál) was legally regulated and was used within Iceland to pay de...
Article
Full-text available
Studies in masculinity have lagged behind in the field of gender studies though recent scholarship is making up for this disparity. In this paper, we tackle the question of masculinity and modernity in early modern Iceland through an analysis of archaeological material relating to dress from the site of an Icelandic bishopric and school, Skálholt,...
Article
Full-text available
Yarn and textiles recovered from prehistoric Dorset and Thule culture sites in the Eastern Canadian Arctic have raised questions about the extent and timing of indigenous and Norse interaction in the New World, whether the yarn represents technological transfers between Greenland's Norse settlers and the Dorset, or whether these Indigenous Arctic g...
Article
GUS (Gården under sandet- The Farm Beneath the Sand) is a Greenlandic Norse settlement site 80 km from Nuuk in the former Norse western settlement occupied between 1000 and 1400 CE. Renowned for its excellent preservation caused by its interment under large quantities of sand and permafrost after its abandonment, GUS is unique in Norse Greenlandic...
Article
Full-text available
In 1921, during Poul Nørlund’s excavation at the Norse farm Herjolfsnes, Greenland, a tall hat was recovered from the burial grounds surrounding the farm’s church, where a substantial collection of medieval garments had been recovered. This unusual hat came to symbolize not only the end of the Greenland Norse colony but also its enduring cultural l...
Article
Full-text available
In Textiles and the Medieval Economy: Production, Trade, and Consumption of Textiles, 8th–16th Centuries. Edited by Angela Ling Huang, Carsten Jahnke; Ancient Textile Series, Vol 16, Oxbow books.: 23-40.
Article
Midden excavations at Ø172 (Tatsipataa), on the eastern shore of the Igaliku fjord in southwestern Greenland, produced a significant textile collection consisting of 98 fragments. This collection is important as it stems from a well-contextualized and well-stratified sequence, allowing significant insights into the evolution and nature of cloth pro...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological textiles from Iceland have not been objects of significant analyzes until recently, yet they provide important new data on the use of cloth in legal transactions. Medieval Icelandic law codes and narrative sources include regulations governing the production of ‘legal cloth’ – vaðmál – and its uses for paying tithes and taxes, for ec...
Article
Full-text available
The Danish trade monopoly of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries resulted in the implementation of strict regulations and controls on textile production, the introduction of weaving workshops equipped with new horizontal looms, and a deliberate attempt to phase out the production of homespun cloth on the warp-weighted loom. What was the fate o...
Poster
Full-text available
Less than 1% of the forests found by Iceland’s 9th century Norse colonists remain today. Recently, a number of academic and popular works have used Norse land-use strategies and Icelandic deforestation as exemplars of unsustainable practices leading to social and environmental collapse. Yet, other research characterizes early Norse land-use strateg...
Poster
Full-text available
In 2008, a small team from Brown University conducted one week of exploratory archaeological and geophysical investigations at Gilsbakki, a previously unexcavated elite farm site in western Iceland, known from the Icelandic Sagas and thought to have been occupied from the 10th century to the present. The primary goals of these initial investigation...
Article
Ph. D. thesis submitted to the Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, 2003. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Glasgow, 2003. Includes bibliographical references.

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This long-term project uses INAA, XRF, isotopic analyses, AMS dating, and analyses of material culture to document the movements of Norse explorers and settlers in the North Atlantic and farther west onto the coasts of the North American Arctic and Subarctic. Work to date has focused on lithic tools (fire-starter fragments) from L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, and recently on yarn and textile fragments from Greenland and the Canadian Arctic.
Project
Over the past 40 years, the archaeology of the North and the North Atlantic has seen ever-increasing numbers of researchers engaged in productive inter-disciplinary work crosscutting local, national, and regional boundaries. Research dominated by paradigms grounded in environmental archaeology have produced significant advances in methodology, collaborative practice, and zooarchaeological, paleoecological, and human-ecodynamic interpretations. However, approaches to the study of material culture in the North have been comparatively neglected. Relegated often to the field of "small finds" or examined solely for functional, chronological, or typological studies, analyses of Northern material culture participate only infrequently in theoretical discussions on materiality, the social lives of objects, symbolism, thing theory, etc., and have rarely been used to generate innovative methodologies or collaborations. SANNA (from Old Norse, "to prove, make good, affirm") brings together papers by northern archaeologists interested in seeing beyond the immediate or visible characteristics of artifacts, architecture, and landscapes – material culture on multiple scales – to explore ways in which material culture can be used to develop new ideas about past relationships and the social settings within which humans exploited their environments, made the North in their images and imaginations, or continue to use its material remains for contemporary agendas. SANNA's first gathering will be a forum at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC (April 15-18, 2018), co-organized by Kevin P. Smith (Brown University, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology), Michèle Hayeur Smith (Brown University, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology), and Elie Pinta (PhD Candidate, Université de Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne).
Project
Investigating the roles of color in the selection of raw materials and in the production of material culture, as well as the dimensions of color symbolism in past societies.