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Eighteenth-century consumers were competitive, fashion-driven, social climbers, always trying to keep up appearances and mimic their superiors, and then there were German Americans—the thrifty farmers, who just didn’t care. Are these historical stereotypes true? Join historical archaeologist, Dr. Lydia Garver, for a discussion on how probate inventories and archaeology illuminate the material world of German American households—their clocks, books, coffee mills, and teapots. The objects German immigrants bought, as well as what they brought with them, reveal rich patternsGarver_Headshot of economic engagement that shaped their community and identity in America.

Lydia Garver has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). She is originally from southern Lancaster County and got her start in archaeology as a high school student volunteering on the State Museum of Pennsylvania’s excavations at Ephrata Cloister. Her dissertation focused on the farmstead of an Ephrata Householder family. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Archaeology Program at the Speaker’s House in Trappe, PA. The site was the home of Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the First Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. More information is available at

The colloquium German American Consumers will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2016 in Ryder Hall at, 230 N President Avenue, Lancaster. A social gathering will begin at 4pm, followed by the lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.