Plantation Slave Life in Barbados: A Physical Anthropological Analysis

1983 (J. S. Handler and R. S. Corruccini) “Plantation Slave Life in Barbados: A Physical Anthropological Analysis.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 14: 65-90

In this paper we utilize physical anthropological data, recovered archaeologically from a plantation slave cemetery in Barbados, to treat various dimensions of slave life and illustrate a particular interdisciplinary approach in historical inquiry: how the methodology and techniques of physical anthropology can be applied to historical issues; and how a different type of data base than is normally employed in slave studies, when combined with archaeological and documentary data, can generate new information and perspectives on slave life. We illustrate this approach by specifically addressing issues such as disease, nutrition, and famine, and the cultural practices of dental mutilation, dentistry, pipe smoking, weaning and infant care, and family burial plots.

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