Landscapes of Slavery and Emancipation on Cat Island, Bahamas

Author(s): Allan Meyers

Year: 2016


Although Bahamian plantation archaeology has witnessed considerable growth in the last three decades, no sites of the Loyalist period (c. 1783-1838) on Cat Island have hitherto been systematically studied. An ongoing interdisciplinary project aims to address this omission, and the resulting scholarship will contribute to the island’s first heritage management plan. Since its launch, the Cat Island Heritage Project has documented six Loyalist-era sites at the island's southern end. Among these is Golden Grove, a plantation that gained widespread notoriety after an 1831 slave uprising. Recent surveys reveal material culture features across the sites that shed new light on plantation landscapes in the Bahamian colony. The project's long-term goal is to build an interdisciplinary framework for understanding, interpreting, and conserving the physical remains of sites related to slavery and emancipation. It thus embraces an approach to archaeology that privileges local stakeholders. It elevates consultation with descendants, and it employs interpretive frameworks that honor the island's rich tradition of oral narratives. The program invites local participation with an eye toward increasing community investment in the stewardship of cultural heritage.

Cite this Record

Landscapes of Slavery and Emancipation on Cat Island, Bahamas. Allan Meyers. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403495)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;