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Forget We Not: Continuity and Change in Saba's Unique Burial Practices, Dutch Caribbean

Author(s): Ryan Espersen ; Jay Haviser

Year: 2017

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This paper analyses continuity and change in burial practices through time on Saba, Dutch Caribbean, from first colonization in the mid seventeenth century to the modern era.  The Saban tradition of stone-lined vaults surrounding the buried coffin is a cultural element from English migrants that dates back to early Welsh and Anglo-Saxon burial traditions, and continues into the present day.  This practice, however, appears to be limited to the free dominant culture, as it has not been observed among enslaved African burials.  Dry stone grave markers were used exclusively across Saba until the early nineteenth century, where a style dominant in nearby St. Eustatius was introduced among the island's upper class.  Changes in marker style from this time to the modern era are rooted the island's class landscape, immigration/emigration patterns, and long-term fluctuations in the island's economy.

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Forget We Not: Continuity and Change in Saba's Unique Burial Practices, Dutch Caribbean. Ryan Espersen, Jay Haviser. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435369)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 135

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