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African-American Archaeology

Newsletter of the African-American Archaeology Network

Number 20, Late Winter 1998

John P. McCarthy, Editor


Contents

Problematical Glass Artifacts from Newton Plantation Slave Cemetery, Barbados

Jerome S. Handler, The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Charlottesville, & The Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University [1]

In the early 1970s, archaeological research in several plantations addressed a variety of issues in the sociocultural life of early Africans and their descendants in Barbados, once England's wealthiest and most populous New World colony; this research ultimately focused on the Newton plantation slave cemetery. Over the years, the Newton research has been extensively reported, and is well known to scholars of the early African Diaspora in the Caribbean [2]. Although the 104 burials recovered from Newton represent a small percentage of the total number interred at the cemetery, there was a diverse artifactual inventory that included coffin hardware, clay pipes, pottery, metal jewelry and knives, metal and bone buttons, and many different types of glass beads. Some of these artifacts are unique to New World African descendant sites (see Handler 1997).

This paper focuses on two virtually identical small glass objects of apparent European manufacture. Each was found associated with a different burial. Although the objects were excavated in May 1973 and published in 1978 (see Handler and Lange 1978: 119-122, 306 for more details on the objects and their burial contexts), as far as I am currently aware no similar objects have been reported from other African descendant sites.

Both objects are of translucent glass that, relative to modern glass, is unusually heavy or hard; they are virtually identical in size, shape, weight, and number of facets. Roughly conical in shape, they have circular flat bases and faceted sides (Fig. 1). The facets (six in the center, 12 on the outside) are irregularly and crudely shaped. Under magnification (100x), they show no signs of grinding or chipping, and air bubbles suggest they were pressed or mold-made. The objects are very small (3.6 mm high and about 8.0 mm in diameter at the base) and light (one weighs 0.3368 grams, the other 0.3813 grams).

Figure 1: Two identical glass objects were recovered from burial contexts at Newton Plantation. (figure omitted from this online reprint)

The objects were associated with two different, albeit roughly contemporaneous, coffinless burials located relatively close to one another in the same 3-meters quare excavation unit (see Handler and Lange 1978: 117-123). The burials were probably interred sometime in the 18th century.

Burial 60 was an older female. When her leg bones were removed, a 4.5 cm pipe stem section was found close to the right knee. One of the glass objects was found next to this pipe stem (see Handler and Lange 1978:119, fig. 13). The pipe stem fragment was clearly not the pipe's original mouthpiece, and was not attached to a bowl or additional stem fragments; that is, no whole pipe was associated with Burial 60 -- as occurred in the other glass object described below. Although the Burial 60 object appears to have been closely associated with the pipe fragment, the fragment may have been disturbed after interment; thus, the object's association with the pipe stem may have been accidental. However, the other glass object was more certainly associated with a pipe.

Burial 55 was an older male interred with two complete long-stemmed white clay pipes, dating roughly 1710-1750 (based on bore-stem diameter; median bowl date was 1705; a maker's mark suggested 1700-1740; see Handler and Lange 1978: 123, 255, 270). One of the pipes was found over the chest, the other by the pelvis; a glass object was found lying, apex down, exactly at the mouthpiece end of the pipe by the pelvis (Figs. 2 and 3; also, see Handler and Lange 1978: 120, fig. 14; 259, fig. 34). Both the pipe and glasso bject were apparently undisturbed since the original interment.

Figure 2: Plan indicating location of the glass object associated with Burial 55. (figure omitted)

Figure 3: In situ location of glass object, Burial 55. (figure omitted)

Although the objects were almost certainly manufactured in Europe, their original function is uncertain. European-manufactured glass beads were associated with both burials: Burial 60 had about 290 of various types around the neck, while 8 were found with Burial 55. But the glass objects were not beads; they were not perforated and were not associated with other beads.

Ivor Noel Hume (personal comm., Oct. 1975) provisionally suggested the objects may have "been from an item of paste jewelry and would have originally been backed with metallic foil or perhaps by colored paper. [They] could come from a finger ring or possibly from a shoe buckle" -- perhaps dating from the second half of the 18th century.

In January 1998, over twenty years later, several curators in the Department of Metalwork at London's Victoria and Albert Museum (Clare Phillips, pers. comm., Jan. 1998) gave the following opinion after personally examining one of the objects: "The object is clearly shaped to imitate a rosecut diamond. It is therefore of a kind found in the jewelry -- perhaps a buckle or brooch -- of the late 17th to late 18th century . . . . It is odd that no trace of a mount has survived." The curators had "no means of dating it more precisely," and "although England was famous for making glass stones for jewelry, so too was Paris." Since Barbados had such an intimate long-standing trade and colonial relationship with England/Britain, it is assumed the objects are of English/British, not French, origin.

How the enslaved at Newton originally obtained these objects is unknown, and neither burial had associated rings, shoe buckles, brooches, etc.; thus, the use of the objects was secondary. The secondary use of European-manufactured items recovered from African descendant sites is now well known in historical archaeology, and some of these artifacts may have been modified by slaves and used in their own cultural contexts, perhaps following West African patterns (cf. Handler 1997:122 and references cited therein; Orser 1994; Wilkie 1997). Although the two objects were closely associated with clay pipes (one case more certain than the other), there is no historical or archaeological evidence from Barbados or elsewhere that the objects had any functional relationship to pipes or pipe smoking. It is therefore more likely that they were placed with the burials because of their personal value to the decedents and/or had some other role in slave mortuary beliefs. However, from the early 1970s -- when the objects were excavated and originally analyzed -- to the present, I cannot offer an explanation or suggestion for their role in slave culture: the use or meaning of these objects among Barbadian slaves remains problematical.

I bring these objects to the attention of this Newsletter's readership in the hope that someday similar objects may be found at other archaeological sites or contexts; perhaps with a wider data base we will be able to resolve another small enigma in the lives of early Africans and their descendantsin the Americas.

Notes

[1]: A version of this paper was presented at the 1998 SHA meeting in Atlanta. In the 1970s, Frederick Lange played a crucial role in the archaeological research strategies and data interpretation while Crawford Blakeman and Robert Riordan actually excavated the objects discussed here; I rely on their field notes for descriptive materials on the objects in situ. Jen Ho Fang (X-Ray and Optics Laboratory, Southern Illinois University), using a refractive index determination, initially identified the glass composition and weighed the objects, and John Richardson (Office of Scientific Photography, Southern Illinois University) provided additional details through microscopic analysis. I am also grateful to Clare Phillips, Richard Edgcumbe, Anthony North, and Tessa Murdoch of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London for their assistance in identification. One of the objects is in the Barbados Museum (with other Newton artifacts); the other is in my possession, pending further investigation, and subsequent delivery to the Museum.

[2]: Principally, Handler and Lange 1978; more recent publications, which cite many of the earlier ones in archaeology, history, and bioanthropology, include Handler 1996, 1997.

References Cited

Handler, Jerome S.
1996    A Prone Burial from a Plantation Slave Cemetery in Barbados, West Indies: Possible Evidence for an African-Type Witch or other Negatively Viewed Person. Historical Archaeology 30(3): 113-119.

1997    An African-Type Healer/Diviner and His Grave Goods: A Burial from a Plantation Slave Cemetery in Barbados, West Indies. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 1(2): 91-130.

Handler, Jerome S., and Frederick W. Lange
1978    Plantation Slavery in Barbados: An Archaeological and Historical Investigation. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Orser, Charles E., Jr.
1994    The Archaeology of African-American Slave Religion in the Antebellum South. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 4:33-45.

Wilkie, Laurie A.
1997    Secret and Sacred: Contextualizing the Artifacts of African-American Magic and Religion. Historical Archaeology 31(4):81-106.

From the Editor: WARNING, WARNING!

Be WARNED: If you have not paid your 1998 subscription, this will be your last issue of the newsletter. The mailing label indicates the last year paid according to my records. CHECK IT! Be sure to contact me ASAP concerning any discrepancies.

Thanks for the words of encouragement and support so many of you have offered in writing or in person. Keep the submissions coming. Look for Issue 21 in May.

Comment on the Inappropriateness of a Proposed Mean Ceramic Date (1780) for South Carolina Colonoware

Chris Espenshade, TRC Garrow Associates, Inc., Atlanta, GA

In a series of recent reports on plantation sites on the Wando Neck area of coastal South Carolina, Wayne and Dickinson (1990, 1996a, 1996b, and 1996c) have presented Mean Ceramic Date (MCD) calculations (after South 1972, 1977) that include a date of 1780 for Colonoware. This date is supported by a vague reference to Anthony (1986) that Wayne and Dickinson contend places the production span for South Carolina colonoware at 1730-1830. The midpoint of which, 1780, is being used as the mean date for this ware in calculating MCDs. Beyond possibly misrepresenting Anthony's comments, this approach would appear to be fatally flawed at several levels. It is argued here that there cannot be any meaningful mean date for Colonoware, and that the use of Colonoware in arriving at MCDs is potentially misleading.

The concept of an MCD, as applied to European ceramics, is based on the following premises (South 1977):

1. The wares were produced commercially as a for-profit, market-driven activity.
2. Being market-driven, the industry responded to changes in consumer demands.
3. Due to the general nature of consumer behavior, the frequency through time of specific wares/types generally followed a regular curve.
4. All producers of specific wares/types generally began and ended production of those wares/types at the same time.
5. Given 3 and 4, it is statistically valid to calculate an MCD that reflects the most likely date of production for a given ware/type.

An MCD approach should not be used for Colonoware because points 1-4 do not apply to this ware. The presence and frequency of Colonoware on a specific slave row, for example, will be dependent on a number of factors including presence of a potter, access to materials, implicit permission of the planter to produce or use Colonoware, availability of suitable substitutes, planter concern over slave hygiene, degree of acculturation, and degree to which African lifeways (subsistence, healing, religion) were followed. These factors did not change through time on a single schedule shared by all African Americans. Each individual community had its own production trajectory. For example, recent excavations at three slave rows in Beaufort County, South Carolina, shows Colonoware production continued after 1830 (and possibly until the Civil War), on some slave rows (Eubanks et al. 1994; Kennedy et al. 1994; Pietak et al. 1998). The mean date for Colonoware and its use in calculating MCDs, as proposed and applied by Wayne and Dickinson, should be abandoned as misleading and uninformative.

References Cited

Anthony, Ronald W.
1986    Colonwares. In Home Upriver: Rural Life on Daniels Island, Berkeley County, South Carolina, edited by M. A. Zierden, L. M. Drucker, and J. Calhoun. Report prepared for the South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation. Carolina Archaeological Services and the Charleston Museum, Charleston.

Eubanks, Elsie I., Christopher T. Espenshade, Marian Roberts, and Linda Kennedy
Data Recovery Investigations of 38BU791, Bonny Shore Slave Row, Spring Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Spring Island Company. Brockington and Associates, Inc., Atlanta.

Ferguson, Leland
1992    Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800.Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Kennedy, Linda, Marian D. Roberts, and Christopher T. Espenshade
1994    Archaeological Data Recovery at Colleton River Plantation (38BU647), Beaufort County, South Carolina: A Study of an Early Nineteenth Century Slave Settlement. Report prepared for Colleton River Company, L. P. Brockington and Associates, Inc., Atlanta.

Pietak, Lynn, Christopher T. Espenshade, and Linda Kennedy
1998    Isolation and Slave Rows: Archaeological Data Recovery at 38BU5, Spring Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Spring Island Company. TRC Garrow Associates, Inc., Atlanta.

South, Stanley
1972    Evolution and Horizon as Revealed in Ceramic Analysis in Historical Archaeology. The Conference on Historic Site Archaeology Papers 6:71-116.

1977    Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology. Academic Press, New York.

Wayne, Lucy B., and Martin F. Dickinson
1990    Four Men's Ramble: Archaeology in the Wand Neck, Charleston County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Dunes West Development Corporation. Southarc, Inc., Gainesville, Florida.

1996a    Starvegut Hall Plantation, Charleston County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Dunes West Development Corporation. Southarc, Inc., Gainesville, Florida.

1996b    The Parsonage Tract, Charleston County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Dunes West Development Corporation. Southarc, Inc., Gainesville, Florida.

1996c    Ruins of an Old Settlement: Archaeological Data Recovery at 38CH1082, Charleston County, South Carolina. Report prepared for the Dunes West Development Corporation. Southarc, Inc., Gainesville, Florida.

To Witness the Past: African-American Archaeology in Alexandria: An Exhibit

John P. McCarthy, Greenhorne and O'Mara, Inc., Greenbelt, MD

While the city of Alexandria, Virginia is well-known for its program of public participation urban archaeology, the program's long history of interest in African-American archaeology is less known. The city's archaeology staff began exploration African American life at residential sites in 1978, and over the last 20 years, a total of 25 homes of free blacks, two slave residences, and three manufacturing sites where most of the laborers were African American have been investigated.

That Alexandria archaeology is largely African-American archaeology should come as no surprise. Alexandria, like most southern cities, had a considerable African-American population, both free and enslaved. Freemen, in particular, were a significant part of the population: by 1845, they numbered 1,627 and by 1860 half of the city's African-American residents were free.

This exhibit reflects the wide range of material circumstances within the African-American community. Some of the most striking artifacts exhibited include a Chinese export porcelain lattice fruit basket and a willow-pattern transfer-printed platter. These were among the materials recovered from the home of a former slave named Harriet Williams. Williams lived on South St. Asaph Street from 1849 until at least 1861. Other materials recovered from a brick-lined shaft feature at the site included a wine glass, an ink bottle, a clay tobacco pipe, a porcelain candlestick, and the ornament from a brass bedpost.

Based on the apparent wealth this assemblage reflects it has been speculated that Williams may have enjoyed a warm relationship with her owner, Samuel Lindsey, who lived just three doors away. Williams seems to have received costly hand-me-downs as fashions changed.

In marked contrast, artifacts from the nearby home Moses and Nancy Hanless, who were free blacks, were much more modest. Ceramics from that site included a plain white tea cup and a white pitcher. In addition to domestic materials, the exhibit also includes artifacts from a sugar house, pottery, and glassworks.

The exhibit is presented in cases around the perimeter of the city's usually busy public laboratory facility which is housed in the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the Potomac River in Old Town. Here most Saturdays and Sundays the city's dedicated volunteers can be found hard at work processing and documenting collections while they await warmer weather and fieldwork opportunities.

The exhibit, which is expected to run through at least March 31st, provides an excellent introduction to the goals and methods of historical archaeology. Its focus on poorly documented African Americans makes a strong case for the archaeology of minority and disenfranchised communities.

Foodways: The African-American Archaeology Workshop at the 1998 Society for Historical Archaeology Meeting, Atlanta

John P. McCarthy, Greenhorne and O'Mara, Inc., Greenbelt, MD

Organized and chaired by Ywone Edwards-Ingram of Colonial Williamsburg, this workshop featured summaries of current research by several speakers followed by a lively and stimulating discussion.

Jo Anne Bowen noted the persistent and conservative nature of foodways. As much as 40 percent of African-American assemblages are wild, with lots of fish represented. Yet variability can be seen reflecting specific choices such as small fish over large fish.

Elizabeth Reitz discussed evidence for a "cultural filter" on the natural environment. Humans are not random scavengers even though we are omnivores. Many ethnic/cultural differences are manifest in the context of food consumption/preparation behavior.

Michael Blakey discussed aspects of physical anthropology that can reflect nutritional stress. Diet can also effect bone and dental chemistry.

Steve Morozowski pled for more emphasis on environmental reconstruction, including pollen and floral studies. Small differences in these indicators can reflect major variability in the nature and quality of past environments.

Barbara Heath also mentioned the importance of the local environment, but she focussed more on the consumer aspects of foodways: slaves made use of many wild and grown foodstuffs as a source of cash for use in the market economy. This money was only rarely used for meat; it was more often used for whiskey, sugar, spices, and coffee.

Amy Young briefly summarized ongoing research at Saragossa Plantation. One of her students, Michael Tuma, has been involved in a study of cooperative hunting in a contemporary community at the site. This male activity was contrasted to female gardens.

The discussion made clear that foodways are an important area of research about which much remains to be learned.

Results of the 1997 Excavations at the Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site (23SA451), Arrow Rock, MO

Timothy E. Baumann, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

An archaeological field school was jointly operated by the Missouri Archaeological Society (MAS) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) at the BrownLodge/Caldwell Pottery Site (23SA451) in Arrow Rock, Missouri between July 14 and August 8, 1997. The field school operated as a public archaeological project in cooperation with the Friends of Arrow Rock and the Arrow Rock State Historic Site and was partially funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Arrow Rock is a Missouri River town located in Saline County, Missouri. Saline County is situated in west-central Missouri in Missouri's "Little Dixie" region, named for its inhabitant's southern heritage and Democratic views and the diverse agricultural system which operated during the antebellum period with enslaved African-Americans. After the Civil War, many of these enslaved African-Americans fled their masters and moved into towns like Arrow Rock to start their own segregated communities.

African-Americans settled the north side of Arrow Rock along Morgan and north Second streets. The Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery site is situated on Block #30, located on Morgan Street between Sixth and Seventh streets. The history of Block #30 includes five components: a stoneware pottery factory (1854-1870s), three African-American residences (1882-1950s), an African-American Odd Fellows lodge (1891-1900), an African-American Masonic lodge (1881-1931), and an African-American restaurant and bar (1881-1950s).

The 1997 field school continued archaeological work started in the 1996 MAS field school (Baumann 1997a, 1997b, 1997c, 1998; Baumann and Krause 1997). The 1997 excavation goals were to evaluate the archaeological resources on Block #30, assist in the restoration of the Brown Lodge as an African-American heritage center, and determine if Arrow Rock's listing on the National Register of Historic Places should be amended to include its African-American heritage. The 1997 field school excavated 12 3 x 3 foot units and 89 posthole tests, recording seven new cultural features and collecting 424 bags of artifacts.

Excavations and surface mapping recorded numerous features associated with both the pottery factory and the African-American occupation. Features associated with the pottery factory included the remains of a circular, downdraft kiln and a brick foundation interpreted as a pottery workshop. Features associated with the African-American occupation included structural features linked to both the Brown Lodge and a residence on lot 121. Limestone piers and a midden were identified as the remains of a two story addition behind the Brown Lodge. Limestone piers, a cement sidewalk, a cistern, and two cellars were recorded and partially excavated of the lot 121 house.

Artifacts collected from the 1997 excavations are currently being processed and analyzed in the Historical Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Deb Krause, a graduate student in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia is writing her master's thesis on the stoneware pottery component of this site. Tim Baumann, a doctoral student in Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, is writing his dissertationon Block #30's African-American heritage. Initial interpretations of artifacts and features associated with the African-American component are described below:

Ceramics

The ceramic assemblage collected during the 1997 field season came from two general proveniences; the lot 121 house site and the Brown Lodge. Ceramics around the lot 121 house were plentiful including decorated whitewares, porcelain, ironstone, and salt-glazed, slipped, and bristol-glazed stoneware. The most unique ceramic pieces from the house site included a porcelain mustache cup, and an ironstone plate with a monogram "B" standing for the Bush family who occupied this site between 1903 and 1941. Identified makers' marks all date after 1890. Most of the house site ceramics were collected from a cistern and a root cellar behind the house.

Very few ceramics were collected from the Brown lodge. The Brown Lodge is a two story frame structure with a Masonic hall on the second floor and a restaurant and bar on the first. The Masons were active on this site between 1881 and 1931. The restaurant and bar was in operation into the 1950s. The few ceramic sherds found around the lodge suggests that first floor establishment was used more as a bar than a restaurant or that meals were not served onor prepared in ceramic dishes.

Construction Materials

Construction materials collected or observed from this site included brick, shingles, plaster, vinyl flooring, and limestone piers. In the 1880s, when African-Americans began to purchase their own property and build homes in Arrow Rock, they had little money to buy construction materials, consequently, many of the first African-American houses were constructed of scrap or recycled materials. These houses were generally constructed of wood frame, on a limestone pier foundation, with a central brick chimney. The Brown Lodge, a communal structure built in 1881, was likely constructed with better materials than most houses. The Brown Lodge is constructed of a wood frame, cut nails, a continuous limestone foundation, and a brick chimney.

Brick concentrations and limestone piers were visible around both the standing Brown lodge and the lot 121 house site. The brick and limestone concentration behind the lodge was identified as a razed two story rearaddition that housed a kitchen on the first floor and an external stairway and second story entrance to the Masonic Hall. Some of the brick from the rear concentration had heavy salt glazing suggesting that bricks were recycled from the earlier pottery kiln that was found archaeologically adjacent to the Brown Lodge.

Vessel Glass

Examples from the lot 121 house site varied greatly and included soda, whiskey, wine, medicine, milk, and perfume bottles. Glass containers collected from the Brown Lodge included mostly whiskey bottles, shot glasses, and tumblers. Again, the high frequency of alcohol related glass artifacts suggests that the lodge's first floor was used more as a bar than as a restaurant.

Faunal Remains

Faunal remains from the Brown Lodge include both wild and domestic species representing two activity sets: 1) human food consumption and 2) non-human scavenging. Oral history of the Brown Lodge states that pork, fish, rabbit, and chicken were served in the first floor restaurant. The human food consumption is represented by carp, the most common, followed by pig and cattle bones. The remaining animal bones of opossum, rabbit, bird, and mole have heavy gnawing and have been attributed to small carnivorous scavenging (i.e. dog, cat, raccoon, opossum). While some of these bones may have been scavenged subsequent to human consumption of the meat, no cut marks were identified on these bones.

Floral Remains

The best preserved floral remains came form the cellar fill behind the lot 121 house site. A cursory analysis identified corncobs, peach pits, and charred wood from cooking and heating.

Metal

Hinges, furniture tacks, tin cans, tools, wire, and indeterminate rusted masses were collected from both the lot 121 house site and the Brown Lodge. The most interesting metal objects include an abundance of tin cans and paint can openers collected from the cistern and cellar behind the lot 121 house. Oral history and census data indicate that Franklin Bush, who lived on this property from 1903-1931, was a painter, plasterer, and wallpaper hanger. These tin cans, some still containing paint, and painter's keys are likely related to Mr. Bush's occupation.

Miscellaneous

A general list of objects found in this category include: buttons, marbles, lead seals, glass beads, a chandelier crystal, pipe fragments, and keys.

Buttons collected from the rear lodge midden when were diverse when compared to buttons from other areas excavated on Block #30. These buttons were varied and represented coat, shirt, fraternal, and military types manufactured from metal, cloth, wood, bone, plastic, and porcelain material. A black plastic fraternal button with a crescent moon and star is the only artifactdirectly associated with the Masonic hall. A World War I general army service button also was collected. This button may have belonged to WWI veteran Lewis Hodges, who is buried in Arrow Rock's African-American cemetery. This large button assemblage may be explained by patrons losing buttons while removing their coats upon entering the establishment. Recovery of a thimble also suggests the manufacture or repair of clothing in the kitchen or on the back porch.

Lead seals embossed with "Boonville, MO" also were collected around the Brown Lodge. These seals have been associated with packages or deliveries made to the lodge from Boonville, Missouri. At this time, weare unsure of these packages' contents.

The chandelier crystal and glass beads were found around the lot 121 house site. Chandelier crystals and quartz crystals have previously been found on African-American sites, particularly in slave quarters. Similar chandelier crystals were recovered by Amy Young from slave quarter root cellars on the Locust Grove plantation in Kentucky (Young 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997). Young interpreted these crystals along with perforated coins, beads, and "X" marked artifacts (marble, spoon) as religious or ideologically significant objects to African-Americans. These objects were often worn as pendants for good luck charms or to ward off evil.

One blue and one yellow bead were also recovered from the lot 121 house site. Blue beads and the color blue have also been associated with African-Americans, and, like crystals, were supposed to ward off evil spirits (Stine et al. 1996). Often doorways and windows were outlined in blue to keep spirits from entering the house. Perhaps significantly, the standing Brown Lodge's front door and windows are outlined in blue paint.

Investigations of Arrow Rock's African-American heritage at the Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site reflects African-American struggles for freedom and equal rights after slavery in Missouri. This struggle is imbedded in the first property, houses, and personal objects bought and used outside the context of slavery

Future plans include a MAS/UTK field school on Block #30 and along north Second Street in May 1998. Excavations on Block #30 will concentrate on the Brown Lodge to better define its architectural integrity for its eventual restoration. North Second Street contained African-American structures of seven households, a church, a schoolhouse, and a bar. Investigations at Second Street will include mapping of surface features and posthole testing to expand our knowledge of the entire African-American community and ultimately amend Arrow Rock's National Register Listing to include its African-American heritage. More information on this program is found on page 11 of this issue of A-A A.

References Cited

Baumann, Timothy E.
1997a    The 1997 MAS Archaeological Field School at the Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 14(1):8-13.

1997b    The Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site, Arrow Rock, Missouri. African-American Archaeology 18:3-4.

1997c    The Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site (23SA451): A Public Archaeological Project in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Paper presented at the Plains Anthropological Conference, Boulder Colorado.

1998A    Cornerstone of the Community: Excavations of an African-American Masonic Lodge in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Paper presented at the Society for Historical Archaeology, Atlanta, Georgia.

Baumann, Timothy E. and Deb Krause
1997    The 1996 Missouri Archaeological Field School: Excavations at the Brown Lodge/Caldwell Pottery Site (23SA451) in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Paper presented at the Missouri Archaeological Society and Missouri Association for Professional Archaeologists, Columbia, Missouri.

Stine, Linda, Melanie Cabak, and Mark Groover
1996    Blue Beads as African-American Cultural Symbols. Historical Archaeology30(3):49-75.

Young, Amy L.
1994    Change and Continuity in African-Derived Religious Practices on an Upland South Plantation. Paper presented at the 1994 joint Southeastern Archaeological Conferences and Midwest Archaeological Conference, Lexington, Kentucky.

1995    Risk and Material Conditions of African-American Slaves at Locust Grove: An Archaeological Perspective. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

1996    Archaeological Evidence of African-Styled Ritual and Healing Practices in the Upland South. Tennessee Anthropologist 21(2):139-155.

1997    Risk Management Strategies Among African-American Slaves at Locust Grove Plantation. International Journal of Historical Archaeology1(1):5-37.

Internet Resources

Internet for Africanists and Others Interested in Africa. (Roger Pfister, 1996) is a useful and clearly written 140 page guide. Available for $11.00 (US) from Basler Afrika Bibliographien, CH-4001, Postfach 2037, Switzerland.

An African-American Cemetery in South Jersey is discussed at http: //loki.stockton.edu/~whitew/left_cemetery.

The Scout Report for the Social Sciences presents information on research materials, conferences, etc. of wide interest. http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/scout/report/socsci. This site recently recognized the web version of A-AA! Issues from Spring 1994 can be found on this site.

African-American and Quaker Pioneers in East Central Indiana

Deborah L. Rotman, Archaeological Resources Management Service, Ball State University

The agricultural history of east central Indiana is unique in that many of the first pioneers were African-American farmers. Many Quakers also migrated to this region, often bringing with them recently manumitted or fugitive slaves as well as free persons of color. Antebellum African-American and Quaker farm settlement in Randolph have recently become the focus of archaeological and historical investigations which are examining the dynamic relationship within and between these cultural groups.

Indiana was admitted to the union as a free state in 1816 and a significant migration of African-Americans and Quakers from southeastern states soon followed. Settlement in this period in Randolph County included the communities of Greenville, Cabin Creek, and Snow Hill. African-American and Quaker settlers assisted fugitive slaves on their way north and cooperated in the establishment of a school. These communities seem to have largely disappeared in the 1860s, and only the school building, the Union Literary Institute, is the only extant structure associated with these communities.

To date, investigations of these communities have included primary source research and a reconnaissance level survey of nearly 1,000 acres. Thirty-three historic sites were identified and 14 of these appeared to date before 1850. All of the early historic sites were associated with African-American landowners.

Some of the assemblages recovered from these sites reflected characteristics commonly associated with rural African-American sites. The assemblages include only small numbers of artifacts (e.g. N=20), and those recovered were of modest cost, including aqua glass, undecorated whiteware, utilitarian stoneware, and architectural elements, suggesting only brief occupation by poor tenants.

Other sites appeared to represent relatively wealthy individuals and families. These assemblages consisted of greater quantities of material (N=130) and diversity of artifacts of greater cost including an array of transfer-printed and other decorated wares. Brick scatters at two of the sites suggested that some homes were more substantial than others were. The archaeological evidence indicated that there was broad variation in the economic circumstances of African-American farmers in these communities. Thus, these cooperatively organized communities were also clearly economically stratified to some extent.

The transformation of the agricultural system in east central Indiana coincided with deteriorating race relations as the Civil War drew nearer. The migration of black farmers out of the settlements in Randolph County may have been motivated by decreased economic opportunities in farming or marginalized social position as a result of the changing political climate or perhaps both.

Through these investigations, the social, political, and economic context of farm life during the early to mid-19th century in east central Indiana was revealed. Three tentative conclusions were reached during this firstphase of research: 1) the communities operated with some degree of cooperation, 2) stratification existed within and between these cultural groups, and 3) these agricultural settlements were abandoned as a result of economic and political conditions.

Book Reviews and Notes

Elizabeth Isichei, 1997. A History of African Societies to 1870. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York. x + 578 pp. Maps, tables,notes, bibliography, and index. $69.95 (cloth), $24.95 (paper).

This is a well-balanced work that reflects the current status of African historical studies. It is nuanced, and comprehensible, yet not at all simplistic in either its organization or content. Isichei presents what she calls "conversations" with differing versions of the African past, with her own voice prominent among many others (p. 3).

The work is Africa-centered, with little mention of European explorers. The Boer history in South Africa, for example, gets much less space than does the Khoisan. It is also an inclusive history, discussing "stateless" peoples who have been little studied by historians, as well as the Great States and Big Men. In this effort, she draws heavily on ethnographic literature.

Her approach is fluid. Chronologically, the book is divided into three periods: prior to 1000 CE, up to the 16th century, and finally through ca. 1870, although these dates are never absolute markers. Along the way Isichei draws forth half a dozen themes to provide focus, while at the same time the continent is subdivided into regions, although her definition of these regions is not consistent throughout.

Prominent among the themes is an emphasis on the way environment has shaped social, political, economic, and religious institutions. Drought and famine have been constants in African history and remain so. Of considerable interest the treatment of the historic interaction between gatherer-hunter, pastoral and agricultural societies: the roles of craft producers, domestic slaves, and the gender division of production are discussed in relation to political and religious power structures.

Hans M. Zell and Cecile Lomer, 1997. The African Studies Companion: A Resource Guide and Directory. 2nd revised and expanded edition. Hans Zell Publishers, London. xi + 292 pp. Bibliography and index. $85.00 (cloth).

This reference volume provides annotated listings of major reference tools, including current bibliographies and continuing sources; journals and magazines; major libraries; publishers with African studies lists; dealers and distributors of African studies materials; the major regional and international organizations. Accordingly, it is an incredibly useful and important research tool.

The volume is arranged in 11 sections, carefully broken into subsections according to geography and specialization. Section I brings together a large number of key reference tools, primarily in English, organized from a broad international perspective.

While at $85.00 the volume is perhaps an extravagance for an individual researcher, it would make a useful addition to any institutional collection.

Philip J. Schwarz, 1996. Slave Laws in Virginia. Studies in the Legal History of the South. University of Georgia Press, Athens. xvi + 253pp. Bibliography and index $40.00 (cloth).

Schwarz explores how the interactions between "African Virginians and European Virginians" (p. xiv) shaped the political and cultural landscape of the state and, in the process, helped to shape that state's laws during the era of slavery. This is not comprehensive survey of Virginia law during the slave regime, nor is it meant to be. It is, instead, a series of essays exploring how European Virginians set about the task of constructing a system of laws that would legitimize their domination of enslaved Africans.

Central to Schwarz's argument is the belief that, "it is useful to analyze the intersection or interaction of the behavior of owners and of the enslaved" (p. 5). Law, in this sense represents a codification of the day-to-day interactions of historical actors.

Schwarz focuses particularly on the ways the enslaved influenced lawmaking. He takes the position that Africans brought to America were not mere objects to be acted upon, but arrived with their own norms and values, and that their humanity constantly asserted itself. African responses to captivity intruded upon, and helped to shape, the expectations of those who enslaved them.

The interaction between masters and slaves gave rise to the "customary" laws of slavery, the informal rules of masters/slaves relations that also influenced relations among slaves. While these rules existed in the private sphere, and were dependent upon specific circumstances and the personalities of those involved, both master and slave were still subject to the formal laws of Virginia.

In this public realm, legislators and judges were concerned with protecting property and slavery as an institution. Even so, the everyday exigencies of managing the slave population resulted in laws conceived in response to European perceptions of, and reactions to, enslaved Africans' behaviors. In effect, the slaves acted, and the masters reacted.

The focus on agency among both free and enslaved is this volume's strongest feature. There is much here that might be used to inform archaeological analysis of enslaved African-American populations, and not just those ofcolonial Virginia.

Wilma King, 1995. Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, xxi + 253 pp. Illustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, and notes. $27.95 (cloth).

Here King discusses enslaved children and youth (males under the age of twentyone and females under the age of eighteen) as they lived in the family and community. These children engaged in work and play, received temporal and spiritual education, experienced the traumas of slavery, and sought and gained freedom.

Documentation is drawn from a wide range of primary sources and the WPA slave narratives. It is worth noting that many of the former slaves interviewed in the 1930s had experienced slavery as children in the 1840s and 50s, providing direct access to childhood under slavery.

King's essential argument is that slavery robbed African-American children of a childhood. Yet, free children on farms labored under the direction of patriarchal fathers, orphans and delinquents served under indenture, and children in factories and small shops were a source of cheap, unskilled labor, as the notion of a sheltered and protected childhood was only just emerging among the middle class in the early 19th century. In light of these issues, perhaps the most innovative chapters in King's book are those dealing with play, leisure, and education. Her analysis of play stresses its relationship to reality as children observe and imitate procedures, ideals, and values. Much of King's discussion resonates with the small finds of domestic sites that are the material reflections of children in the archaeological record.

News and Announcements

Call for Papers: National Identities is a new international/interdisciplinary journal that seeks to address identity as one of the principal forces that has shaped history. Contact the U.S. editor: David Hooson, Geography Department, University of Calf., Berkeley, CA 9420 for more information.

Kentucky African-Americans in the Civil War: A Defining Moment in the Quest for Freedom was an exhibit at the 1997 state fair sponsored by the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission, and the Kentucky Humanities Council. The accompanying pamphlet includes archaeological and historical essays by A-A A subscribers William H. Mulligan, Jr. and Kim A. McBride.

Caribbean Cultures Summer Program: Virginia Commonwealth University will be conducting its 2-course (6 credits) Caribbean Cultures Program this July 18-August 8. The team-taught program consists of "Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean" and "Caribbean Perspectives on the African Diaspora". Principal instructors are Dan Mouer and Bernard Moitt. The course includes lectures, field trips, and cultural programs. Students will participate in a number of activities related to Crop Over (the Bajan carnival-equivalent) and Emancipation Day celebrations.

In addition, "Research Projects in Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnography" is offered for 3 credits. This course is designed for advanced undergraduate and post-grad students who wish to participate in Dr. Mouer's research in Barbados, or who would like his guidance in setting up individual or group projects dealing with culture history or popular culture in Barbados.

Fees for the 6-credit Caribbean Cultures program will be $2990, and $2445 for the 3-credit research course, inclusive of airfare (round-trip from Washington, DC), tuition, room, and all program costs. They do not include the cost of meals or out-of-pocket incidental expenses. Tuition fees are the same for in-state, out-of-state, graduate or postgraduate students. Arrangements can be made for transfer credit. For more information contact Dan Mouer at dmouer@saturn.vcu.edubefore June 10, 1998.

Field School at Arrow Rock, Missouri: The Missouri Archaeological Society (MAS) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) will hold a fieldschool May 20 to 31, 1998. See Tim Baumann's article in this issue of A-AA for more information about this 19th-century African American settlement. Students can enroll for a non-credit one-week session through the MAS or for a two-week session for 3 credits through UTK. Contact Melody Galen of the MAS at (573) 882-3544 or by e-mail: archmg@showme.missouri.edu, or contact Tim Baumann at (423) 974-4408 or by e-mail: baumann@utkux.utcc.utk.edu, or you can visit our webpage: http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/ baumann/field/field.html.

The Southeastern Archaeological Conference 1998 will be held November 11-14 in Greenville, South Carolina, at the Hyatt-Regency. Contact Ken Sassaman, conference coordinator at 803-725-1130 for more information.

Worth Tracking Down (articles by subscribers and friends):

Baker, T. Lindsay

1996 More than Just "Possum" n Taters: Texas-African Foodways in the WPA Slave Narratives. In Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore, edited by Francis E. Abernethy, Carolyn F. Satterwhite, Patrick B. Mullen, and Alan B. Govenar, pp. 95-128. University of North Texas Press, Denton. Published in October 1997 despite the 1996 date.

Groover, Mark D., and Timothy E. Baumann

1996 "They Worked Their Own Remedy": African-American Herbal Medicine and the Archaeological Record. South Carolina Antiquities 28(1&2):21-32.

Forthcoming:

Baker, T. Lindsay, and Julie P. Baker, editors

1998 The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. March, $24.95 paper.

1998 Till Freedom Cried Out: Memories of Texas Slave Life. Texas A&M University Press, College Station. February, $29.95 cloth.


Electronic version compiled by Thomas R. Wheaton, New South Associates, Inc.




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2005 African Diaspora Archaeology Network
Please send comments or questions to: cfennell@uiuc.edu
Last updated: April 16, 2005
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