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Plant Analysis of an Eighteenth-Century Slave Quarter: Incorporating Macrobotanical and Pollen Analysis at Monticello to Improve our Understanding of Enslaved African-American Lifeways.

Author(s): Stephanie Hacker ; Beatrix Arendt ; Derek Wheeler ; John Jones

Year: 2017

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Summary

This research emphasizes the value of studying plant remains recovered from archaeological contexts while contributing to our understanding of the lifeways of enslaved African-Americans from late eighteenth -century Virginia. The primary objective of this research is to identify plants selected by enslaved field laborers living on the Home Farm Quarter of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation. This study incorporates both macrobotanical and pollen analysis and presents a wide variety of useful plant species uncovered from the subfloor pits found at Site 8, one of the housing quarters for enslaved field laborers. These results expand our understanding of the methods employed by the occupants of Site 8 to improve their conditions. Additionally, this research addresses how Monticello’s agricultural shift from tobacco to wheat production altered subsistence strategies of enslaved field laborers over time. The botanical data reveal that the enslaved occupants of Site 8 actively improved their circumstances by producing domesticated plants in nearby gardens and procuring wild plant species by traveling across the Monticello landscape.


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Plant Analysis of an Eighteenth-Century Slave Quarter: Incorporating Macrobotanical and Pollen Analysis at Monticello to Improve our Understanding of Enslaved African-American Lifeways.. Stephanie Hacker, Beatrix Arendt, Derek Wheeler, John Jones. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430184)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17183

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