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Bead trade in the latter Atlantic world: A case study of 19th century sites in The Gambia, West Africa

Author(s): Elizabeth A. McCague ; Liza Gijanto

Year: 2015

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Summary

The Gambia River was a frontline of Atlantic trade among European merchants in the Atlantic world, particularly in regards to the exchange of glass beads established to promote commercial interactions with the local population. Though the 19th century marks the decline of the era on the Gambia River, the trends seen in the bead trade highlight the lasting implications of colonial involvements. This paper will address bead assemblages from Juffure, Berefet, and the colonial capital of Banjul recovered between 2006 and 2014 as part of archaeological investigations under the direction of Dr. Liza Gijanto. Trade beads are analyzed for shape, color, and size to assess 19th century colonial involvements at sites along the Gambia River. The analysis results offer a greater understanding of consumer preference, fluctuating commercial markets, and colonial influence during the decline of Atlantic trade on the river through the exchange and use of everyday material culture.


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Bead trade in the latter Atlantic world: A case study of 19th century sites in The Gambia, West Africa. Elizabeth A. McCague, Liza Gijanto. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433900)


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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): 309

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