The Material Basis of the Caribbean Plantation Complex

Author(s): James A. Delle

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Transformation of Historical Archaeology: Papers in Honor of Charles E Orser, Jr" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In the mid-1980s historical archaeology was still deeply mired in its pursuit to identify and define normative markers of patterned human behavior. At this moment in time, when historical archaeology perched on the precipice of processual irrelevance, Chuck Orser published his "The Material Basis of the Postbellum Tenant Plantation." The Marxist apporach shed new light on how material culture of those oppressed by an socioeconomic system created, rather that merely reflected, conditions of inequality. In this paper I demonstrate how the approach adopted by Orser transformed the staid approaches so common in Historical Archaeology at the time, and in so doing I will review how the methodolotgies of archaeology, as a materialist discipline, can be used to interpret the landscapes of the Caribbean Plantaiton Complex. The main points in the paper will be illustrated with examples taken from my 30 years of work in the Caribbean.

Cite this Record

The Material Basis of the Caribbean Plantation Complex. James A. Delle. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449252)


Marxism Orser Plantation

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 354