A Case for STP Survey on Carribean Plantations: Stewart Castle, Jamaica

Author(s): Sean Devlin; Lynsey A. Bates; Jillian Galle

Year: 2017


In this paper, we argue that site survey, prior to and in addition to open area excavation, is essential to addressing our understanding of the contested landscapes of plantation life. Building on a research strategy employed by DAACS on former British Caribbean plantations, preliminary results from 2016 fieldwork at the eighteenth-century Jamaican sugar estate of Stewart Castle suggest the methodological power and analytical opportunities of systematic shovel-test-pit (STP) survey. This technique promotes identification of site stratigraphy, horizontal distribution patterns, as well as architectural and occupational features. At Stewart Castle, data recovered from STPs indicate shifting patterns of spatial usage over time in the main house yard area, and hint at changing politics of space during the Stewarts’ occupation. More broadly, systematic survey and standardized context and artifact data recovery, as facilitated by the DAACS database, enables comparative temporal and spatial analysis of such changes across sites of slavery.

Cite this Record

A Case for STP Survey on Carribean Plantations: Stewart Castle, Jamaica. Sean Devlin, Lynsey A. Bates, Jillian Galle. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435486)

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Spatial Coverage

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

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 563