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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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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: 19 May 2022

Landscape and Labor on the Periphery

Landscape and Labor on the Periphery

Built Environments of Slavery in Nineteenth-Century French Guiana

(p.166) 8 Landscape and Labor on the Periphery
Archaeology of Domestic Landscapes of the Enslaved in the Caribbean

Elizabeth C. Clay

University Press of Florida

French Guiana presents a unique context in which to explore Caribbean plantation slavery for several reasons. These include its circum-Caribbean position as a non-island space, the distinct experiences of enslavement within French Caribbean colonies (which included a brief period of emancipation and subsequent re-enslavement of the labor force) and the fact that sugar monoculture never dominated the economy as it did elsewhere in the region. While sugar was economically important for a short period in the early nineteenth century, plantations producing a variety of agricultural commodities including cotton, coffee, annatto, and spices were much more typical. In 2016, two nineteenth-century plantation slave villages were the subject of archaeological investigation; these villages were historically associated with annatto and clove production. This chapter presents a historical overview of nineteenth-century plantation slavery in the region as well as preliminary results from survey and excavation in 2016. Initial testing revealed intriguing details about architecture, material culture, and the use of space on nineteenth-century French Guianese plantations.

Keywords:   French Guiana, Clove production, Landscape, Slave village, Plantation slavery

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