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The Role of Landscape in Power Dynamics of the Past: An Example from Eighteenth-Century Piedmont Virginia

Author(s): Crystal L. Ptacek

Year: 2013

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Summary

The neighborhood surrounding historic Indian Camp plantation located in Virginia’s eastern piedmont helps provide an interpretation about past identity formation and power dynamics. Using public records and ArcGIS, I locate this historical community to explore networks in which these individuals were involved. Historic land patents surrounding the Indian Camp property were given a spatial quality, and based on resulting maps, research has identified a dynamic community. Through the 1720s and 1730s, powerful, influential men with existing social, political, and economic connections in the tidewater were establishing themselves as piedmont neighbors whose plantations increased their wealth. These individuals were prominent public office holders and slave owners and were connected to each other with a complex network of kin and friendship systems. My study supports previous Chesapeake scholarship in that it shows how a particular neighborhood’s influential citizens helped create a Virginia identity and how greatly land contributed to that identity.


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Cite this Record

The Role of Landscape in Power Dynamics of the Past: An Example from Eighteenth-Century Piedmont Virginia. Crystal L. Ptacek. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428724)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
18th Century


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 608

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