Domestsicating the Chesapeake Landscape

Author(s): Joanne Bowen

Year: 2014


In 1699, Williamsburg emerged as the capital of Virginia, set amidst plantations focused on growing tobacco. This paper will explore how colonization evolved, first to feed plantations intent on producing tobacco and eventually to include producing livestock and grains to feed an urban population. This growth has been conceptualized by archaeologist John Terrell as the domestication of landscapes, where humans consciously harness and shift natural conditions in their environment to harness food. Zooarchaeological and documentary evidence and behavioral studies will identify the role livestock played as colonizers and how the dynamic relationship existing between colonists and their livestock produced a viable herd system. Evidence will show that within a decade colonists could rely on livestock, and not local wildlife, for food, and that as environmental and economic conditions changed and towns emerged in the region, so too did herd management.

Cite this Record

Domestsicating the Chesapeake Landscape. Joanne Bowen. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436648)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-9,02