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Entanglement on the Guinea coast: archaeological research at three 19th century slave trade localities on the Rio Pongo

Author(s): Kenneth Kelly

Year: 2014

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Summary

Following the ‘abolition’ of the slave trade in 1807/8 by Denmark, Britain, and the United States, the trade in captive Africans underwent substantial realignments as the now largely ‘illegal’ slave trade continued to service the ongoing demands from Brazil, the Spanish Caribbean, and to a lesser extent, the French West Indies and the United States. The focus of the slave trade shifted from the well-known, and highly visible, forts and castles of the Gold and Slave coasts, and entered a new phase of decentralized trade as American, European, and even African American traders established trading posts on the sheltered rivers of present-day Guinea. By entering into economic and biological relations with local elites, the traders profited from the ‘landlord-stranger relationship’ to develop enduring settlements that continued to engage in the slave trade as late as the 1860s. This paper discusses survey and excavations at three important slave trade ports on the Rio Pongo, and reports the results of this first historical archaeological research program in Guinea.


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Entanglement on the Guinea coast: archaeological research at three 19th century slave trade localities on the Rio Pongo. Kenneth Kelly. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437295)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-73,01

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