“Essential for understanding the diverse experiences of enslaved individuals from the Caribbean as well as the larger sociopolitical processes that shaped the possibilities of domestic spaces and slavery as a whole.”—H-Net
“An important, thorough, timely collection.”—Historical Archaeology
“Delle and Clay demonstrate the need for interdisciplinary dialogues that offer a departure point for dialogue among archaeologists, architectural historians, and vernacular architecture scholars to deepen our understanding of the built environment of enslaved African lifeways in the Caribbean.”—Labor
“Makes magnificent strides in a positive direction toward expanding our understanding of individual experiences of enslavement, how people survived under a system of extreme violence and structural inhumanity.”—New West Indian Guide
“One particularly valuable aspect of this volume is the attention that authors pay to the evolution of slavery within their respective contexts, including the periods leading up to and immediately following the abolition of the slave trade and emancipation.”—Winterthur Portfolio
“An important resource for understanding enslavement and colonialism in the Caribbean, containing a wide array of archaeological contexts. Contributors recognize ways that the built environment may have been a site of self-determination for the enslaved occupants, and repeatedly show that slavery was in no way uniform.”—John M. Chenoweth, author of Simplicity, Equality, and Slavery: An Archaeology of Quakerism in the British Virgin Islands, 1740–1780
“Placed within the broader context of the Atlantic world, this superb resource provides new and significant insights on the diverse built environments of Caribbean enslavement. Using multi-scalar analysis across time and space, this volume illustrates how the enslaved lived within and shaped constructed places.”—Patricia Samford, author of Subfloor Pits and the Archaeology of Slavery in Colonial Virginia
While previous research on household archaeology in the colonial Caribbean has drawn heavily on artifact analysis, this volume provides the first in-depth examination of the architecture of slave housing during this period. It examines the considerations that went into constructing and inhabiting living spaces for the enslaved and reveals the diversity of people and practices in these settings.
Contributors present case studies using written descriptions, period illustrations, and standing architecture, in addition to archaeological evidence to illustrate the wide variety of built environments for enslaved populations in places including Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the islands of the Lesser Antilles. They investigate how the enslaved defined their social positions and identities through house, yard, and garden space; they explore what daily life was like for slaves on military compounds; they compare the spatial arrangements of slave villages on plantations based on type of labor; and they show how the style of traditional laborer houses became a form of vernacular architecture still in use today. This volume expands our understanding of the wide range of enslaved experiences across British, French, Dutch, and Danish colonies.
James A. Delle, associate provost for academic administration at Millersville University, is the author of several books including The Archaeology of Northern Slavery and Freedom. Elizabeth C. Clay is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.
A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series
Publication of the paperback edition made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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