Trade Influence

While most native traditions appear to have remained intact during the Fredricks phase, trade between Indians and Whites intensified considerably during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. This is seen primarily in the grave goods associated with the Occaneechi burials. Knives, hoes, kettles, and guns were added to the beads and ornaments common during earlier phases of the Contact period. The shaft-and-chamber pits that had served as receptacles for the dead for hundreds of years were abandoned in favor of rectangular, straight-sided graves dug with the aid of metal tools. Bodies were still flexed and wrapped, but the burial pits were no longer placed in and around dwellings. The Fredricks site burials were carefully aligned and interred in at least two cemeteries located adjacent to and outside the palisade surrounding the small village. The existence of separate cemeteries may reflect the amalgamation of different ethnic groups forced to band together as a consequence of depopulation; or, more likely, they may reflect episodes of epidemics and a recognition of the contagiousness of Old World diseases (Ward 1987; Ward and Davis 1991).