Freedom Come: The Archaeology of Postemancipation Life in Dominica

Author(s): Khadene K Harris

Year: 2017


Archaeological interest in postemancipation life on plantations has received significantly less attention than those dating before emancipation. The resulting neglect misses several opportunities to unveil the complexities of postemancipation social and economic life and the impact of full freedom on the material and spatial practices of formerly enslaved individuals. I show how both planters and free people reorganized their physical surroundings and what this reorganization can reveal about the various networks individuals were embedded in. Utilizing evidence of post-slavery spatial practices on two Dominican estates, I discuss how the patterns that emerge reveal shifts in social and power relations in the years after full freedom. After emancipation a substantial amount of shifting around took place, leaving behind spatial patterns that this presentation explores. A close examination of both spatial and material practices allows us to construct broader understandings of newly freed populations and how they went about reconstituting their dailylife. 

Cite this Record

Freedom Come: The Archaeology of Postemancipation Life in Dominica. Khadene K Harris. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435136)


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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): 393