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Constructing Space and Community within Landscapes of Slavery in Early 19th c. Jamaica

Author(s): Elizabeth Clay ; James Delle

Year: 2016

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While household artifact analyses contribute a great deal to understanding the enslaved experience in the colonial Caribbean, where possible, landscape studies allow archaeologists to more completely reconstruct past built environments of slavery. Using a landscape approach, this paper investigates the use of space by the enslaved population at Marshall’s Pen, a 19th c. Jamaican coffee estate. Through landscape survey, we can better understand how enslaved men and women actively constructed space to suit their needs and in doing so created a unique community of individuals and families. In order to reconstruct how this community came about spatially, we investigate architectural variability, the delineation of associated house yards, the construction of gardens and pens, and the conglomeration of these features into compounds. This type of analysis provides a much more detailed understanding of the living environment of enslaved workers than that which is available through the documentary record alone.

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Constructing Space and Community within Landscapes of Slavery in Early 19th c. Jamaica. Elizabeth Clay, James Delle. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403883)


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Spatial Coverage

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

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