Date of Award


Thesis Date


Degree Type

Honors Thesis-Unrestricted

Degree Name




Degree Program



Ryan Gray


In summer of 2012 archaeological excavations were conducted at the Iberville Housing Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana. The excavations were conducted in order to gather archaeological data pertaining to the site’s history as part of New Orleans’ notorious vice district, Storyville. During excavation a cache of 765 turquoise glass seed beads was uncovered along the east wall of Test Unit #1. The cache, found at a depth of around 83 cm below the ground surface, suggests, in conjunction with other artifacts found at this level, that the beads were deposited at the site between 1810 and 1830. This cache of seed beads is unique at the site both in its context and in the quantity of beads that were found. The presence of the bead cache suggests that there may have been an active trading economy at the site, as beads similar to those found at the Iberville site are important elements in informal economies of the eighteenth century. This paper discusses the possibility that an alternative or informal reciprocal, non-cash based economy was in operation on the periphery of New Orleans in the early nineteenth century.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this honors thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the honors thesis.