lunacy that can be seen in the architecture and material arrangement of asylums. This is not to suggest that resistance was not also a facet of everydaylife in the asylum. For this reason, archaeological approaches to the theme of resistance in other institutions will be drawn on for comparative purposes.
The theme of resistance runs through several historical archaeologies of institutions for confinement, providing a rich body of research on which this study can draw. Eleanor Casella’s work on prisons and penal colonies, in particular
everydaylife were catered for in-house (Goffman 1976 ). In common with the patients, each of these support staff had carefully defined rules governing their behaviour. As the asylums grew in size and capacity, these duties became more refined and closely monitored. By the end of the nineteenth century, for example, laundresses in British and Irish asylums were expected to record all of the details of their working week into a laundry book, which was presented to the medical superintendent every week for inspection (Burdett 1891 : 228). A reiteration of the duties of
direct historical accounts. The cleansing process, rather than the submission of clothes, may be considered to be the seminal rite of passage in the process of admitting the patient bodily into the asylum. The immersion of the patient into asylum life was furthered by other material culture which the patient was obliged to use in their everydaylife in the asylum; for example, the use of cutlery.
Food-eating utensils were central to the daily life of the asylum. Forks, knives, and spoons, plates, and cups were used by everyone from patients to