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Archaeology of Domestic Landscapes of the Enslaved in the Caribbean$
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James A. Delle and Elizabeth C. Clay

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400912

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400912.001.0001

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Variation within the Village

Variation within the Village

Housing Enslaved Laborers on Coffee Plantations in Jamaica

(p.116) 6 Variation within the Village
Archaeology of Domestic Landscapes of the Enslaved in the Caribbean

James A. Delle

Kristen R. Fellows

University Press of Florida

This chapter investigates the use of space by the enslaved population at Marshall’s Pen, an early nineteenth-century Jamaican coffee production estate. The study introduces archival information about the establishment of the plantation and use of space by enslaved laborers. By investigating architectural variability, the delineation of associated house yards, the construction of gardens and pens, and the conglomeration of these features into compounds, we are able to reconstruct how a unique community of individuals and families actively constructed space to suit their own needs. This chapter uses archaeological data collected over multiple field seasons of excavating at Marshall’s Pen to reconsider the meaning of plantation yard space. By considering the landscape of the estate from the perspectives of the enslaved people who lived both within and outside the plantation village and comparing several house yard compounds, this study suggests that people in slave villages organized themselves in non-uniform ways. These methods can perhaps shed light on social identities and differentiation within the village itself.

Keywords:   Jamaica, Coffee production, Marshall’s Pen, Slave village, Yard space

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