(Under the direction of Professor Nathan Richards) Department of History, January 2008.
At the time of European settlement of the Roanoke region, the Roanoke River served as a natural route for trade and settlement. Despite being known by the Tuscaroras as Moratoc, or "river of death", the Roanoke was a facilitator of economic activity and expansion. Accordingly, human activity has created an historical and archaeological record tied to the river. Archaeological and historical investigation of industrial and transshipment activity along the river will yield the information required to construct an explanatory model of the Roanoke cultural landscape through time.
Elucidation of anthropological trends regarding human behavior, economics, and archaeological signatures both above and below the waterline of the Roanoke are done in the pursuit of the themes of legitimation, risk, industrial locational convenience, and legal and illicit forms of commerce haring a cultural landscape. Analyses drawn from statistics and geospatial technologies explain components of these themes as they exist and have acted in the cultural landscape of the Roanoke River through time. Ultimately, the themes are inter-related, manifested as various physical, economic, and behavioral factors within the Roanoke region.