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Archaeological Perspectives on the French in the New World$
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Elizabeth M. Scott

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054391

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054391.001.0001

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Sugar Plantations in the French West Indies

Sugar Plantations in the French West Indies

Archaeological Perspectives from Guadeloupe and Martinique

(p.218) 9 Sugar Plantations in the French West Indies
Archaeological Perspectives on the French in the New World

Kenneth G. Kelly

University Press of Florida

The French West Indian colonial possessions of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint Domingue were among the most valuable overseas European colonies due to the production of the tropical commodities of coffee, cocoa, and in particular, sugar. The crops were raised on plantations through the labor of hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans and their descendants between the mid 17th century and the mid 19th century. In spite of the importance of this heritage to the history of the French colonial enterprise, and more importantly, the history of the descendant populations, commemoration of this chapter of history has only recently begun. This commemoration includes public monuments, official recognition, and archaeological research. Historical archaeology contributes a perspective that sheds light on otherwise undocumented or poorly-documented aspects of the slavery era, such as the organization of villages, the housing within them, and the ways in which enslaved people saw to their needs for food.

Keywords:   French West Indies, Historical Archaeology, Plantations, Slavery, Heritage

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