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Housing Occupation and Constructing Race in Plantation Jamaica: A Comparative Archaeology between two Slave Villages at Good Hope Estate.

Author(s): Hayden Bassett

Year: 2016

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Summary

The “slave village” occupies an important place in Caribbean archaeology, though one in which the internal variation and dynamics of a village have yet to be thoroughly addressed. This has resulted in an essentialized picture of the "enslaved community” as a single entity. However, recent excavations at Good Hope estate, an 18th/19th-century sugar plantation in Jamaica, have demonstrated greater internal variation of experience, revealing that the plantation's enslaved community was divided amongst two village sites. While most of the 490-person enslaved labor force lived in a central primary village, a second smaller village housed the plantation’s 22 enslaved domestic servants. For the house domestics of Good Hope, and their small dedicated village, this represented the majority of the plantation’s so-called “mulatto” population, segregated from what was categorized as the “negroe” population by the 18th and 19th-century planter class. In this paper, I compare archaeological and architectural evidence from the two village sites to test if a material-basis for social inequality existed in relation to occupational and racial grouping within Good Hope’s enslaved community. Ultimately, these findings illustrate the significant role of built environments in constructing and sustaining difference and distance between enslaved people.


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Housing Occupation and Constructing Race in Plantation Jamaica: A Comparative Archaeology between two Slave Villages at Good Hope Estate.. Hayden Bassett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403886)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


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