T he “household archaeology” field was introduced into the archaeological discipline in the 1970s as a reaction to the previous focus on elite residences and monumental architecture. Hungry to get at the small-scale perspective, archae-
ologists turned to the investigation of household activities and economy, striving to define the smallest unit of production and consumption within a community. Over the decades, household archaeology has come to encompass questions of gendered labor, ethnicity, symbolism, and status as expressed within a household and in the community. The main emphasis in this chapter is on the original intent of the household archaeology field: methodologies that allow archaeologists to define household socioeconomic pursuits. The latter portion of the chapter goes beyond socioeconomy, examining methods to determine sociopolitical ranking across households, as well as more socially based questions about gender, religion, and ethnicity. The exploration of these latter topics is brief, as most of these form the basis of discussion in other chapters within this volume.