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Roots in the Community: A Macrobotanical Analysis of Enslaved African-American Households at James Madison's Montpelier

Author(s): Samantha J. Henderson

Year: 2016

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Summary

In 2008, the archaeology department at James Madison’s Montpelier began a multi-year project that sought to understand the community dynamics between enslaved workers at the plantation in the early 19th century. This study excavated and analyzed four sites: South Yard, Stable Quarter, Field Quarter, and Tobacco Barn Quarter. Each of these sites represents a different community of enslaved workers, from those who worked in the mansion to field hands.  This paper will compare the macrobotanical remains from these four sites, showing possible similarities and differences in subsistence strategies of the people living at these quarters. The plant remains recovered suggest that the enslaved community utilized resources across many seperate spaces, as defined by the Madisons, and created a place to find foods, fuels, and medicines utilized by members of the entire enslaved community.


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Cite this Record

Roots in the Community: A Macrobotanical Analysis of Enslaved African-American Households at James Madison's Montpelier. Samantha J. Henderson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434954)


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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): 928

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