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"Little necessaries or comforts": Enslaved Laborers’ Access to Markets within the Anglophone Caribbean

Author(s): Lynsey A. Bates

Year: 2016

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At the household level, analysis of material culture recovered from Caribbean plantation villages has revealed internal groups with differential access to resources. The dynamic economic systems that enslaved people developed necessarily depended on local expectations of labor and subsistence cultivation, as well as Atlantic shifts in commodity prices and political control. Expanding on household studies, I assess marketing strategies between plantation communities by tracing how imported goods vary across space. My dataset incorporates excavations from former British sugar-producing colonies to comparatively analyze this variability. I examine imported (primarily European) goods that enslaved people acquired as a proxy for their access to local traders and urban markets. I offer several potential hypotheses for the abundance of imported goods including surplus cultivation conditions, legal restrictions on husbandry and marketing, and the pressures of competition in larger communities with few resources.

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"Little necessaries or comforts": Enslaved Laborers’ Access to Markets within the Anglophone Caribbean. Lynsey A. Bates. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434376)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 371

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