James Madison’s Montpelier slave quarters excavated

Published on August 8th, 2013 | by Admin


Archaeologists excavating the slave quarters at Montpelier have revealed some new insights into slave life in the early 19th century.

Excavations took place at four venues across the plantation: the Stable Quarter (homes for enslaved livestock handlers, excavated in 2010), the South Yard (homes for house slaves, excavated in 2011), the Tobacco Barn Quarter (homes for enslaved field laborers, excavated in 2012), and the Field Quarter (homes for enslaved field laborers, excavated in 2013). The four residential locations provide a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the conditions of chattel slavery of the period. Differences and similarities between these locations – particularly architectural styles and household goods such as ceramics, glassware, and clothing items – reflect the relationship of individual households to each other, the community to which they belong, their relationship to the overarching plantation complex, and regional patterns of both market access and cultural traditions. Deposits from these sites date to Madison’s retirement years, from the late 1810s through the 1830s.

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Story: ArtDaily | Photo: ArtDaily

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