Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Honors Project


College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Brian Hoffman


The Levin site is a household archaeology deposit dated to the 1940s. This site is a distinctive example of the emerging branch of both backyard archaeology and twentieth century archaeology. This backyard site is an essential piece in reconstructing the history of the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. The Levin site also provides unique insights into changing consumption patterns, the roles of class and gender, and the evolution of American identity. The Levin collection utilizes archaeological and historical methods to answer a number of questions. What can the everyday life of a family in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood say about national changes in the 1940s? What were the local effects of these changes? How did this particular family live during this pivotal time in history? In order to interpret this site, analysis of historical maps, documents, and archaeological evidence gathered during the 2009 Excavating Hamline History course is used to piece together a snapshot of the lives of the people who occupied this site. The remains of the household burn deposit found in the backyard contains a diverse collection of diagnostic items, from faunal remains to glass shampoo bottles and metal lipstick containers. The effects of advertising, government regulation, and other social forces that directed the consumer choices of the family that lived at the Levin site can today be found in our own bathroom cabinets, backpacks, and garbage cans. This research has the potential to guide future Hamline excavations that seek to connect and balance the local histories of an area to national and global changes in customs of living and learning.








Departmental Honors Projects