An Archaeology of Colonial Identity: Power and Material by Gavin Lucas

By Gavin Lucas

This ebook examines how colonial identities have been developed within the Cape Colony of South Africa in view that its institution within the 17th century as much as the 20th century. it's an explicitly archaeological technique yet which additionally attracts extra largely on documentary fabric to check how various humans within the colony – from settler to slave – developed identities via fabric tradition. The booklet explores 3 key teams: The Dutch East India corporation, the unfastened settlers and the slaves, via a few archaeological websites and contexts. With the archaeological proof, the ebook examines how those diverse teams have been enmeshed inside of racial, sexual, and sophistication ideologies within the broader context of capitalism and colonialism, and attracts largely on present social idea, particularly post-colonialism, feminism and Marxism. This booklet is aimed basically at archaeologists, yet also will allure historians and people attracted to cultural idea and fabric tradition reviews. in particular, ancient archaeologists and scholars of old archaeology may be the fundamental readership and dealers.

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239,200 pieces 625 pieces 4,936 60,000 pounds * Shiny linen Ocean in the 17th and 18th centuries: trade in exotic goods t h a t fetched very high prices back in Europe. Colonial settlement in places like Batavia and the Cape were all initially and primarily serving this one commercial interest. Europeans had been stopping off at the Cape of Good Hope since the late 15th century as part of the eastward expansion of mercantile capitalism under the lead of the Portuguese (Raven-Hart 1967). As the center of mercantile power shifted from Portugal, then Spain to the Netherlands, so the Cape increasingly became a stopover for Dutch trading ships.

A study of excavated and stamped clay pipe fragments from the two VOC Forts in Table Bay showed three peaks in frequency: the 1670s, the 1730s and the 1760s, corresponding to peak shipping at the Cape (Abrahams 1984b). After 1790 there is a sharp decline in Dutch pipes, concurrent with the transition of the Cape colony from Dutch to British hands. According to the shipping registers and pipe frequencies, the 1730s was the height of trade during the VOC occupation of the Cape. Apart from clay pipes, glassware—particularly wine bottles, were also exported to the Cape colony; glass was not made at the Cape until the late 19th century, but successful production only began in the 20th century, and so all glassware was imported, chiefly from Europe.

VOC monogrammed porcelain (left) and pewter (right) plate- -not to scale. {Source: Adapted from Woodward 1974 and Cowan et al. 1975) The VOC was very much a corporate enterprise, and while I would not want to overplay the similarities to modern multi-nationals, there are certainly a number of interesting similarities. 2). Of course this is not to say everything was thus marked, but the presence of the VOC monogram on such a diversity of objects attests to a power of corporate identity which could be mobilized in certain important contexts.

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