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Slave Diet at Monticello

  • Diana C. Crader (a1)

The results of a detailed analysis of the faunal remains from the slave dwelling known as Building “o” at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s well-known Virginia plantation, do not conform with the expected slave quarter faunal pattern in that more complete carcasses and higher quality cuts of meat are represented. The bone assemblage contrasts with the lower quality meats found in the Storehouse at Monticello, which also is thought to have been occupied by slaves. This raises the issue of differences in meat diet within the slave community at Monticello, and it is suggested that either higher status or a complex taphonomic history involving the deposition of mixed plantation refuse may explain the patterning that is present.


Se presenta el análisis detallado de los restos de la fauna que se encuentra en la barraca de esclavos conocida como Edificio “o” en Monticello, la celebrada hacienda de Thomas Jefferson en Virginia. Los resultados no conforman con lo que se espera de una habitación de esclavos, porque aquí se encuentra evidencia de cuerpos de animales más completos y cortes de carne de alta calidad. Este conjunto de huesos contrasta con el de menos calidad en el Almacén de Monticello, el cual se supone fue ocupado también por esclavos. Esto indica diferencias en la dieta de carne dentro de la comunidad de esclavos de Monticello, y sugiere que la variación se debe a diferencias de nivel social o a una historia tafonómica compleja de la deposición de desperdicios de varios sectores de la hacienda.

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American Antiquity
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