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Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the CaribbeanExploring the Spaces in Between$
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Lynsey Bates, John M. Chenoweth, and James A. Delle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400035

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400035.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Dimensions of Space and Identity in an Emancipation-Era Village

Dimensions of Space and Identity in an Emancipation-Era Village

Analysis of Material Culture and Site Abandonment at Morgan’s Village, Nevis, West Indies

(p.183) 8 Dimensions of Space and Identity in an Emancipation-Era Village
Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the Caribbean

Marco Meniketti

University Press of Florida

A map of Nevis drawn in 1871, indicated three postemancipation African Villages. Landscape survey was conducted to locate the site of Morgan’s Village. Artifacts at the presumed site suggested a strong pre-emancipation component. The Morgan’s site represents an important period on Nevis history; the transitional phase from colonial slave-based plantations to an economy with wage-labor and a free citizenry experimenting in a mature, agro-industrial capitalist mode. This was a period of nascent post-colonialism setting the stage for emergent Nevisian identity. The Morgan’s site is at 985 feet elevation associated with the ruins of Morgan Estate. The village site promised insights into the period between 1833 when the “apprentice period” ended and the 1870s as new economic and social relationships coalesced, and were mediated by global events. What was encountered instead was a village seemingly abandoned soon after emancipation, suggesting a dynamic not previously appreciated. Two historic roads bisected the site, with stacked dry-stone walls in situ. Terraces on the steeply sloped hill supported stone house platforms and rectangular dry-stone foundations. Small furrowed agricultural plots were still visible and ceramics offered clues to daily life. Preliminary analysis suggests a pre-emancipation community that evolved with the changing times.

Keywords:   Nevis, slave-based plantations, postemancipation studies

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