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A Comparative Investigation of Plantation Spatial Organization on Two British Caribbean Sugar Estates

Author(s): Lynsey A. Bates

Year: 2013

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Summary

Tracing the relationship between the development of plantation landscapes and the people who interacted with, altered and maintained those landscapes provides a constructive approach to comparatively analyze slavery across divergent spatial and temporal contexts. The plantation system in Atlantic World contexts required that estate owners create a suite of strategies that maximized labor, time and space to make cash crop production profitable. To address this issue, this paper investigates two sugar estates in the British Caribbean colonies of Jamaica and Nevis. Identifying ideal conditions suggested by contemporary historians and travelers provides a baseline for evaluating actual instances of historic spatial organizations. This evaluation is based on the integration of modern topographic data with the data present in detailed maps of the two estates.  The results of this analysis suggest that the planters’ interrelated goals of efficiency and control dominated the delineation of space in three out of four ideal conditions.


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A Comparative Investigation of Plantation Spatial Organization on Two British Caribbean Sugar Estates. Lynsey A. Bates. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428346)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 628

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