UWI Mona Archaeology Field School at Marshall’s Pen, 2015

The 2015 UWI Mona Archaeological Field School builds on scholarship concerned with understanding the complex nature of life on Caribbean plantations through an analysis of the spatial layouts of houseyards and the associated artifacts located both within and away from the villages at a coffee plantation known as Marshall’s Pen (Mandeville, Jamaica). MarshallPenMapOccupied for a relatively brief period (1819-1850), Marshall’s Pen offers a unique opportunity to compare households dating to a single generation.  Dr. James A. Delle (Associate Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania) has conducted excavations at Marshall’s Pen over the course of five previous field seasons, which have resulted in the collection of a significant amount of data on the layout of five house yards, the construction techniques used to build those houses, and the presence of consumer goods purchased and used by enslaved workers on this plantation (e.g. Delle 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011). The ongoing analysis of this data suggests that there was a great deal of inter-household variability at Marshall’s Pen, as each of the five houses differs from each of the others in terms of size, construction techniques, and the number and kind of artifacts recovered. This year’s project, in collaboration with the Archaeology program of the Department of History & Archaeology at the University of the West Indies at Mona, under the supervision of Mr. Zachary J. M. Beier (Assistant Lecturer), will collect data from two additional households. This will create the most comprehensive data set ever collected for a Caribbean coffee plantation in terms of the number of house areas examined.  It is hoped that this project will be the pilot project of a longer term collaboration between UWI, Mona and Shippensburg University.