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A Progress Report on the DAACS Research Consortium

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2015

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  • Documents (14)


  • All’s Well That Ends Well: The Re-Examination of Drayton Hall’s South Flanker Well (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Sarah Stroud.

    Drayton Hall was established by John Drayton in 1738 to operate as the home seat at the center of his vast commercial plantation network in Charleston, SC. Upon obtaining ownership of Drayton Hall in 1974, the National Trust for Historic Preservation initiated archaeological excavations to expose evidence of the plantation’s eighteenth and nineteenth century activities and residents. The 1975 excavations uncovered a well just south of the South Flanker building. The wood-lined well was excavated...

  • An Analysis of the Slave Village site at St. Nicholas Abbey (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Camille L. Chambers. Frederick Smith.

    Established in the 1600s, St. Nicholas Abbey is a sugar plantation that has been preserved as a historical site in Barbados. In 2007, excavations led by Dr. Fredrick Smith revealed the location of a slave village. Excavations from the 2014 summer field season were conducted to establish the physical and temporal boundaries of the site. Artifacts from both the 2007 and 2014 excavations were cataloged into the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). The DAACS cataloging of...

  • "A Bewildering Variety" : A Material Culture Approach to Pearlware Hollow Forms (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Esther White. Barbara Heath. Eleanor Breen.

    DAACS facilitates ceramic analysis at the sherd level with highly developed, exacting protocols for cataloguing attributes such as stylistic elements. This paper seeks to increase the level of systematic rigor applied to the vessel form field.  The authors argue that only through a material culture approach – one that employs multiple available lines of evidence including museum collections, archaeological data, and documentary sources – can vessel form data be made more reliable and replicable...

  • Cultural Brokerage and Pluralism on the Silver Bluff Plantation and Trading Post on the Carolina Frontier (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Brandy Joy. Charles Cobb. Tammy Herron.

    Irish émigré George Galphin established a trading post on the Carolina frontier in the mid-1700s. His skills working with Native Americans provided him considerable wealth through the deerskin trade. He was widely regarded among the Creek Nation, and he represented the Carolina colony on several occasions in major negotiations with Native American groups. Galphin parlayed his wealth into a considerable plantation on his trading post property, and his plantation at Silver Bluff became one of the...

  • Decoding the Midden: How DAACS Helped Reveal the Secrets of the Most Complicated Context at Fairfield Plantation, Gloucester County, Virginia (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT David A. Brown. Thane H. Harpole. Colleen Betti. Anna Hayden.

    Fairfield Plantation's midden spans an historically complex period in Virginia's history (mid-18th-to-mid-19th century). This refuse deposit includes materials representating a cross section of the plantation's population, particularly those living in and near the 1694 manor house.  Although plowing in the late 19th and 20th century impacted the interpretive potential of the midden, all was not lost. DAACS cataloging of artifacts recovered from 138 five-foot-square test units within and...

  • From Manual to Digital Cataloguing: The The New Street Study, Jamaica (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Dorrick Gray. Michelle Topping.

    The Jamaica National Heritage Trust curates archaeological assemblages from excavations conducted in Jamaica over the past 50 years. Until recently, the artifact and context inventories were created on paper. In May 2014 DAACS trained staff from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in the digitization of the inventory process using the DAACS Research Consortium web-accessible database application. The New Street Collection from Port Royal was chosen as the Trust’s case study site. This DRC...

  • Introducing the DAACS Research Consortium (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Jillian Galle. Fraser Neiman.

    The DAACS Research Consortium is a novel and ambitious experiment in the use of web technologies to increase the quality and comparability of archaeological data, to promote collaboration and data sharing among diverse archaeologists, to encourage and comparative analysis and synthesis, and ultimately to advance our understanding  of early modern slave societies using archaeological data. In this paper we sketch the specific strategies that DRC collaborators are developing to achieve these goals...

  • Open Science, Core Facilities, and Archaeology (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Fraser Neiman. Jillian Galle.

                      The past decade has witnessed two onging transformations in the ways in which scholars create and disseminate knowledge in the natural and social sciences. The first is the open science movement, which aims to make the entire research process and its products, transparent, replicable, and accessible to colleagues and the public. The second is the emergence of "core facilities", organizations that offer widely shared technical resources that individuals researchers would have...

  • Preparing Archaeological Data for the Cloud: Digital Collaboration within the DAACS Research Consortium (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Cooper Cooper. Lynsey A Bates. Jillian Galle. Elizabeth Bollwerk.

    The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) Research Consortium facilitates collaborative scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, especially in archaeology, across institutional and spatial boundaries. The primary products of the Mellon Grant were a web-based platform for the existing DAACS database, as well as a comprehensive training session wherein institutional partners and research assistants learned cataloging protocols in a collaborative in-house...

  • The Relational Landscape of Plantation Slavery: An Archaeological Survey of Enslaved Life at Good Hope Estate, Trelawny, Jamaica (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Hayden F. Bassett.

    The enslaved community is often treated as a homogenous group – living, eating, dressing, buying, selling, and dwelling in the same way. This imposition of sameness fails to recognize the differential experience of enslaved laborers, and different means of agency existing within divided conditions of enslavement. This paper surveys the findings of recent archaeological investigations of the slave village of Good Hope estate, an 18th/early-19th-century sugar plantation in Trelawny, Jamaica. Home...

  • Settlement Orginization at Sugarloaf Estate (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Khadene Harris. Alan Armstrong. Mark Hauser.

    This paper is a summary of the ongoing analysis of artifacts and spatial data recovered from the enslaved quarters of the Sugarloaf Estate in northern Dominica. The enslaved village associated with the estate was established sometime before 1771 and abandoned in 1834 after a violent hurricane destroyed much of the village and left at least 3 dead. Initial interpretations of the landscape have emphasized symmetry, optics, and relationships of power. Yet such interpretations are premised on a...

  • Stagville within, beyond, and through the Digital Archaeological Archive for Comparative Slavery: Comparison -> Transition / Juxtaposition (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Anna Agbe-Davies.

    The "Slave Cabin" at Stagville, excavated in 1979, was a component of the home farm quarter on one of the largest plantations in North Carolina.  The small structure has several qualities that prompted its inclusion in the Digital Archaeological Archive for Comparative Slavery.  As the first site from the state in the database, it will allow researchers to isolate and identify patterns associated with local conditions, including topography, settlement history, and regional economy.  Stagville as...

  • Trents Plantation Barbados: Some Comparisons of Data Analyzed Using DAACS and a Long Used Analysis System (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT Douglas Armstrong.

    As participants in the DRC we learned the DAACS database system and entered an initial group of 3000 data entries for Trents Plantation, Barbados.  At Syracuse University we had been using a database using a combination of Access© and Excel© which had become cumbersome and was in need of being updated.  DAACS and the DRC provided an opportunity to learn a new system and to collaborate with a group of colleagues, as well as to input on the new DAACS analysis system.  This paper reviews our...

  • Using DAACS to Explore Embodied Identities: Potential Approaches (2015)
    Citation DOCUMENT J. Hope Smith.

    DAACS has proven to be a valuable resource for quantitative studies that explore patterns across sites associated with slavery. However, its analytical potential is not limited to purely statistical applications that utilize abundant artifact types such as ceramics, because the rigorous, highly standardized cataloging protocol used in DAACS captures minute details of artifacts. This makes it a useful resource for the qualitative study of more variable artifacts, such as objects of personal...

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America