Slaves as Individuals: Variability in Status and Identity Among the Field Slave Houses at Colonels Island Plantation, Georgia

Author(s): Carolyn Rock

Year: 2018

Summary

Most archaeological studies of slave communities analyze structural remains and household debris to interpret lifeways of the enslaved occupants as a group, and perhaps how this group may have changed over time or how it differed from the lives of the overseer, the planter, or slaves in other communities. The assumption has been that most slaves within a community exhibit similar status and acquisition of goods. Our excavations of five dwellings within a nineteenth century field slave settlement resulted in the unique recovery of a high quantity of artifacts that allowed for comparisons among dwellings. These comparisons revealed several differences and provided evidence for differential status, subsistence, family composition, and activities. This variability portrays a more comprehensive view of slave identities as individuals with unique talents and roles within the slave community, as opposed to previous assumptions of similar-status individuals associated with one relatively homogeneous archaeological record.

Cite this Record

Slaves as Individuals: Variability in Status and Identity Among the Field Slave Houses at Colonels Island Plantation, Georgia. Carolyn Rock. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441595)

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Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 346