The Political Ecology of Plantations from the Ground Up

Author(s): Sarah Oas; Mark Hauser

Year: 2016


The domestic economies of households occupied by enslaved laborers are an important domain of analysis for understanding the political ecology and environmental legacy of colonial empires. These households occupy an important intersection of environment, political economy, and culture, and provide an opportunity to exploring both top-down and bottom-up processes of environmental and economic change. This paper presents preliminary research onto households from excavations at Morne Petate in southern Dominica. These findings include botanical remains associated with houses of enslaved laborers and provisioning grounds occupied from the last quarter of the 18th century until the mid-19th century. While results are preliminary and comparison is hampered by the relatively few attempts to archaeologically explore the political ecology of sugar colonies, this research considers to what degree empires shaped these conquered territories, and how these environments could also be mediums for agency, identity, and conflict.

Cite this Record

The Political Ecology of Plantations from the Ground Up. Sarah Oas, Mark Hauser. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403800)


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Spatial Coverage

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