Charting Intention: Place and Power on Virginia’s Earliest Maps

Author(s): Jamie E. May

Year: 2017


Nothing makes the intentions and aspirations of a colonizing enterprise more apparent than the maps and charts of the spaces they seek to control, particularly their choices of which geographic and cultural features to represent or assign the power of a name. Because of the obvious value as primary documents, a small handful of maps relating to Virginia in the early contact period are used by historians, anthropologists and archaeologists to place and interpret sites and features on the landscape, in some respects quite literally, at sites like Jamestown.  Such uses can support and underscore the original intent of the map-makers, but when the maps are examined as artifacts both in and out of context, and are compared and contrasted with one another, one may ‘see’ or understand these maps and motivations in new ways.

Cite this Record

Charting Intention: Place and Power on Virginia’s Earliest Maps. Jamie E. May. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435131)


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 676