African-American Foodways at Early American Plantations: A Comparative Zooarchaeology of Monticello and Montpelier

Summary

This is an abstract from the session entitled "Plantation Archaeology as Slow Archaeology" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Several decades of zooarchaeological research at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Madison’s Montpelier provide an opportunity to compare the food experiences of the enslaved communities at these Virginia Piedmont plantations. These observations are key to understanding the African-American roots of American cuisine. In this paper, we compare the results of existing material analyses from the housing of enslaved domestic and skilled workers at Monticello and Montpelier. Zooarchaeological analyses indicates that enslaved African-Americans at Monticello consumed proportionally more beef than at Montpelier, where pork was more common. Enslaved households at Montpelier had more access to meat from wild game, likely as a result of differences in agricultural intensification at the two plantations. Although the two plantations shared many similarities, both reveal different aspects of early African-American cuisine practices in the American South.

Cite this Record

African-American Foodways at Early American Plantations: A Comparative Zooarchaeology of Monticello and Montpelier. Niki J. Bavar, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, Scott (1,2) Oliver. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457252)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 524