Archaeology: Mapping Slave Runaway Landscapes in Hispaniola, 1521-1822


Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 12:00pm


Tozzer Anthropology Building, Room 203 21 Divinity Ave, Cambridge

Theresa Singleton, Syracuse University

The slave runaway (maroon) landscape was a vast area extending from plantations to distanced hinterlands runaways moved through, lived, and interacted with slave, Amerindian, and non-slaveholding Spanish communities with whom they established alliances, social networks, and trade relationships. I discuss my ongoing research aimed toward locating slave runaway sites in southwestern Dominican Republic beginning with the first recorded African slave revolt in 1521 until the abolition of slavery in 1822. Although the ephemeral archaeological record of slave runaways poses challenges to conventional methods of archaeological survey, documentary sources, previous archaeological research, and oral traditions contribute to the identification of many slave runaway sites.