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Subsistence Economies at Morne Patate: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of a Colonial Plantation Landscape in Dominica

Author(s): Diane Wallman

Year: 2017

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From the 17th through 20th centuries, the Caribbean region experienced unprecedented demographic and environmental change, with the rise and fall of sugar monoculture and the institution of chattel slavery. These transformations were a result of power imbalances at many scales, and the economic, ecological and social consequences of the migrations and interactions were significant and long-lasting. During the Colonial Period, enslaved communities developed diverse socio-ecological practices to survive and adapt within the oppressive plantation structure, through the establishment of artisanal economies and creative subsistence strategies. Zooarchaeological data provide insight into these localized histories and offer important perspectives on the human-ecodynamics of plantation landscapes. This paper presents the results of the analysis of faunal remains from the site of Morne Patate, a colonial plantation in Soufriere, Dominica. As a colony, Dominica was known for its difficult terrain, absentee land owners, and its positioning as a locus of conflict between colonial empires. Through an investigation of the subsistence-based practices developed by the enslaved laborers and habitants of the plantation, Morne Patate provides a unique case-study to explore the socio-ecological dimension of this contentious political and social setting.

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Subsistence Economies at Morne Patate: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of a Colonial Plantation Landscape in Dominica. Diane Wallman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431072)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15164

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