Historical archaeology is a form of archaeology dealing with places, things, and issues from the past or present when written records and oral traditions can inform and contextualize cultural material. These records can both complement and conflict with the archaeological evidence found at a particular site. Studies tend to focus on literate, historical-period societies as opposed to non-literate, prehistoric societies. While they may not have generated the records, the lives of people for whom there was little need for written records, such as the working class, slaves, indentured labourers, and children but who live in the historical period can also be the subject of study. The sites are found on land and underwater. Industrial archaeology, unless practised at industrial sites from the prehistoric era, is a form of historical archaeology concentrating on the remains and products of industry and the Industrial era.
Notable historical archaeology sites
- Colony of Avalon, Ferryland, Newfoundland & Labrador
- African Burial Ground National Monument, New York City
- Annapolis, Maryland
- Jamestown, Virginia
- Monticello, Virginia
- Mount Vernon, Virginia
- Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts
- St. Mary's City, Maryland
- Sully Historic Site, Virginia
- Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
- Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, North Carolina
Notable historical archaeologists
- "Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology".
- "The Society for Historical Archaeology".
- "The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology".
- "Historische Archäologie".
- Connah, Grahame. 1988 "Of the hut I builded" The archaeology of Australia's history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Deetz, James (1996) . In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life. New York: Anchor.
- Orser, Jr., Charles E. (2002). Encyclopedia of Historical Archaeology. London and New York: Routledge.
- Orser, Jr., Charles E. (2004). Historical Archaeology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
- M. Hall and S. Silliman (eds) 2006. Historical Archaeology. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Hicks, Dan and Mary C. Beaudry (eds) (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- South, Stanley (1977). Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology. Academic Press.
- Gaimster, David (2009). International handbook of historical archaeology. New York: Springer.