As a source of colonial wealth and a crucible for global culture, Jamaica has had a profound impact on the formation of the modern world system. From the island’s economic and military importance to the colonial empires it has hosted and the multitude of ways in which diverse people from varied parts of the world have coexisted in and reacted against systems of inequality, Jamaica has long been a major focus of archaeological studies of the colonial period.
This volume assembles for the first time the results of nearly three decades of historical archaeology in Jamaica. Scholars present research on maritime and terrestrial archaeological sites, addressing issues such as: the early Spanish period at Seville la Nueva; the development of the first major British settlement at Port Royal; the complexities of the sugar and coffee plantation system, and the conditions prior to, and following, the abolition of slavery in Jamaica. The everyday life of African Jamaican people is examined by focusing on the development of Jamaica’s internal marketing system, consumer behavior among enslaved people, iron-working and ceramic-making traditions, and the development of a sovereign Maroon society at Nanny Town.
Out of Many, One People paints a complex and fascinating picture of life in colonial Jamaica, and demonstrates how archaeology has contributed to heritage preservation on the island.