Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of the underclass at the colonial Cape of Good Hope in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

  title={Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of the underclass at the colonial Cape of Good Hope in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries},
  author={Glenda Cox and Judith Sealy and Carmel Schrire and Alan G. Morris},
  journal={World Archaeology},
  pages={73 - 97}
Analysis of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of burials in a colonial cemetery in Cape Town, South Africa, reveals life histories of the underclass there. We are able to distinguish foreign from local-born people, and to infer social status, specifically slavery, by linking bone chemistry and somatic modification. This is the first use of bone chemistry to reconstruct the life histories of a mixed population of diverse origin, buried in a cosmopolitan colonial city. As such, it may… 

Integrating Stable Isotope and Zooarchaeological Analyses in Historical Archaeology: A Case Study from the Urban Nineteenth-Century Commonwealth Block Site, Melbourne, Australia

This paper presents the first use of bone collagen stable isotope analyses for the purpose of reconstructing historical animal husbandry and trade practices in Australia. Stable carbon and nitrogen

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Colonial New Zealand was built on the ideal of creating better lives for settlers. Emigrants came looking to escape the shackles of the class-system and poor conditions in Industrial Revolution

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There is a growing body of bioarchaeological research on eighteenth and nineteenth century colonial Cape Town, a significant node in the transportation networks of both the Indian and Atlantic

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New strontium isotope data with carbon and nitrogen isotope results from an 18th-19th century burial ground at Cobern Street, Cape Town, are integrated to elucidate individual mobility patterns, the age at which the forced migration took place and, if possible, geographical provenance.

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The diet appears not to have changed significantly from the Late Roman to the Early Medieval period, however, in the population of Altenerding, there were significant differences in the diet of men and women, supporting a hypothesis of greater mobility among women.

Stable isotopes and diet: their contribution to Romano-British research

The study of stable isotopes surviving in human bone is fast becoming a standard response in the analysis of cemeteries. Reviewing the state of the art for Roman Britain, the author shows clear



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Abstract Stable isotope analysis was undertaken on 48 individuals from Iron Age, Roman and Post-Roman periods of the Poundbury Camp Cemetery, Dorchester, England. Variations in diet, reflected by the

The historical archaeology of Vergelegen, an early Farmstead at the Cape of Good Hope

Excavations at Vergelegen, a large estate in the Western Cape of South Africa that dates to the earliest years of the 18th century, have allowed archaeologists to address a number of questions about

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Isotopic analysis of skeletons excavated during the 1950s has confirmed that they are the remains of shipwreck victims: slaves on board the Portuguese slaving brig Pacquet Real when it sank on 18 May

Mortuary patterns at the Harney site slave cemetery, Montserrat, in Caribbean perspective

Mortuary patterns discernible at the Harney site, despite its disturbed condition, include demographic, burial, and artifact information derived from 17 skeletons, 19 unmatched bones, 10 graves, and


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The transformation of British culture in the Eastern Cape, 1820–1860

The 1820 Settlers left behind them a rich legacy of material culture: a modelled landscape, houses, ceramics, gravestones and other categories of artefacts. By applying the theoretical principles of

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The Archaeology of African-American Slave Religion in the Antebellum South

  • C. Orser
  • History
    Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • 1994
An interest in New World slavery is a recent and exciting development within American archaeology. As archaeologists have rushed to discover the material aspects of what slaves ate, what kinds of