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Honoring Ancestors in Sacred SpaceThe Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century African-Bahamian Cemetery$
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Grace Turner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400202.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Honoring Ancestors in Sacred Space

Grace Turner

University Press of Florida

The theoretical framework for this work is based on W.E.B. DuBois’s concept of “double consciousness” outlined in The Soulsof Black Folk, 1903. This concept helps portray the transition from African-derived burial treatments in this urban cemetery for blacks to grave treatments that were less distinct from those in the cemeteries for whites. Archaeologically evidence of these grave treatments can be seen through time. Though most archaeological research in urban contexts is focused on cemeteries, a significant difference in this case is the focus on the cultural landscape within the cemetery space. The author’s familiarity with Bahamian historical and cultural heritage enables her to make a case for identifying an African-derived cemetery landscape. This urban cemetery site is an illustration of the variation in experiences within the African diaspora in the Americas.

Keywords:   double consciousness, African-derived burial treatments, cemetery landscape, urban cemetery, cultural heritage, African diaspora

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