Date of Award

June 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Douglas V. Armstrong

Second Advisor

Cecilia A. Green


African Diaspora, Caribbean, Fortifications, Historical Archaeology, Labor, Slavery

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation investigates the archaeology of Atlantic world wars and slavery on the island of Dominica during the Age of Revolution (c. 1774-1848). Using archival and archaeological evidence from households at the Cabrits Garrison occupied by lower status personnel in the British army, including enslaved laborers and soldiers of African descent, this study attempts two broad goals: (1) to critically examine the anthropological phenomena of African-Caribbean social formation through a study of settlement patterns and material culture, and (2) to write an archaeological history describing the everyday lives of subordinate groups living within the walls of this fort. My analysis is situated within the longer history of conflict and labor that impacted the formation of colonial communities throughout the Atlantic world between the 18th and 19th centuries. I employ a household level approach using intra-site comparisons and analytical approaches to reconstruct occupational histories and social interactions in a period of changing military labor practices. Findings demonstrate the varied and often contradictory nature of colonial identities at living spaces situated within the conceived landscape of British imperialism. Approaching British fortifications in this manner contributes to black Atlantic military history—a lens that works to represent the diversity of these military communities and the tangible and intangible products of their labor.


Open Access