chapter  12
22 Pages

The Cane River African Diaspora Archaeological Project: Prospectus and initial results

For Americanist archaeologists, one of the key ways of engaging with the material culture of the African Diaspora has been through the search for retentions of African culture in the New World. While this has been somewhat successful in studies of contemporary music, language, and food, attempts to find “Africa” in the archaeological record have been insufficiently critical and at times under-informed (DeCorse 1999; Posnansky 1999; Hauser and DeCorse 2003). Indeed, up until recently, in almost any archaeological paper or book on the subject a recurring theme has been pinning the “smoking gun” of monolithic “African culture” on anything from pottery to clay pipes to chipped bottle glass. Today, these initial growing pains are dissipating, and the complexity of recognizing Diaspora material culture is being confronted (cf. M ouer et al. 1999; Singleton and Bograd 2000). Undoubtedly, the mission of African Diaspora archaeology is still evolving (see Jay B. Haviser and Kevin C. MacDonald, Chapter 1, in this volume).