A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts (Paperback)

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A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts By Joseph M. Bagley Cover Image


A new edition of a bestselling book looking at the history of Boston through fifty artifacts.
Joseph M. Bagley, the city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. Each artifact is shown in full color with a description of the item’s significance to its site location and Boston’s larger history. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past. Packed with vivid descriptions and art, this lively history of Boston will appeal to all manner of readers, locals, and visitors alike. This new edition showcases an important fact which has come to light since its first publication, that a chapter about a cat has now been shown to be a dog, thus demonstrating the perils of the archaeologist.

About the Author

Joseph M. Bagley is the city archaeologist of Boston, a historic preservationist, and a staff member of the Boston Landmarks Commission. He has worked for multiple local and state historic preservation offices, including the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Praise For…

“Bagley is wry and witty . . . demonstrating superior deductive skills and rousing the public to see the value of their past around them.”
— New Boston Post

“City archaeologist Bagley has a special way of bringing Boston's evolution to life. In A History of Boston in 50 Objects, Bagley delivers a tangible take on our past through a collection of stunning portraits of things that have been unearthed here.”
— Boston Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9781684580781
ISBN-10: 1684580781
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2021
Pages: 224