International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 555–590 | Cite as

Assemblage Biography and the Life Course: An Archaeologically Materialized Temporality of Richard and Sarah Hopkins

  • Craig Cessford


A substantial assemblage of material culture deposited ca. 1843–45 in Cambridge, England, is examined from a biographical perspective in terms of what it tells us of the preceding century or so—ca. 1730-1845—rather than the contemporary 1840s. It reveals a materialized temporality, bound up principally with the lives of the college cooks Richard and Sarah Hopkins but also numerous other individuals. The assemblage is also viewed from the perspective of the processes of discard and deposition, and the likely relationship of those involved in this to Richard and Sarah Hopkins.


Assemblages Deposition Biography Temporality 



The work at Grand Arcade was jointly funded by Grosvenor Developments Ltd and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, as the Grand Arcade Partnership. Thanks are due to Alison Dickens, project manager at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, and Andy Thomas, Development Control Archaeologist at Cambridgeshire Archaeology Planning and Countryside Advice (CAPCA) Principal Archaeologist, who monitored the project. This article incorporates specialist information from Andrew Hall (ceramics), Vicki Herring (vessel glass) and Lorrain Higbee (animal bone). The illustrations were drawn by Vicki Herring and the photographs are by Dave Webb and Craig Cessford. Emma Rees undertook much of the painstaking re-fitting of the ceramics. Thanks are also due to the two anonymous referees who provided helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cambridge Archaeological UnitCambridgeUK

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