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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Metallurgy in the Atlantic World
Author:Goucher, Candice L.ISNI
Periodical:African Archaeological Review
Geographic terms:West Africa
metalworking industry
Anthropology and Archaeology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01118148
Abstract:The development of an Atlantic economy forged lasting links between Europe, West Central Africa and the Caribbean, and between slavery and the rise of merchant capitalism. These links were partially constructed of African metals. Ferrous and nonferrous metals were traded and exchanged as currencies. This paper examines the history of African metallurgy in the era of Atlantic trade. The transfer of African technologies to the Caribbean reveals the plantation economy's dependence on African technical expertise, not merely slave labour. A focus on the Atlantic world offers insights for the investigation of African-derived ideology and culture in the Caribbean and seeks to assist archaeologists and historians studying similar situations of multicultural interaction in the African past. Particular attention is paid to the 1989-1993 excavations at the John Reeder foundry site in St Thomas, Jamaica. Established in 1772, the foundry relied heavily on African metallurgical expertise. The main purpose of the research has been to assess the nature of the operation of the iron and brass foundry during the last quarter of the 18th century; to locate and study the various technical facilities of the industry; and to assess the cultural identity and technological contribution of the different components of the labour force operating the foundry. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French.