Marley, Polly, and Me: Reflections on Archaeology and Social Relations

Author(s): Ywone Edwards-Ingram

Year: 2015


Since the 1980s, the archaeological study of African Americans has moved from the periphery to the center of research and interpretive initiatives at Colonial Williamsburg. For over two decades, Marley Brown directed the museum’s archaeological program and worked tirelessly to build teamwork and foster ties among individuals of different racial and ethnic  groups. To highlight Brown’s contributions to the field of African American Archaeology, I use interpretations from my study of the archaeological remains of the home-site of an enslaved nursemaid called Polly Valentine. This nineteenth-century site in Colonial Williamsburg, excavated in the late 1980s, serves as a springboard to discuss the deep-seated nature of our work to bring sensitive topics and controversial areas to the forefront of research endeavors. My goal is to centralize social relations as invaluable in studying the past and for dealing with the complexities of archaeological practices.  

Cite this Record

Marley, Polly, and Me: Reflections on Archaeology and Social Relations. Ywone Edwards-Ingram. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433874)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 65