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Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800 Later prt. Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1560980599
ISBN-10: 1560980591
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  • Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The uncommon ground in the title of Ferguson's highly provocative book is that which yields up evidence of African Americans during the pre-Revolutionary period. The discussion of archeological findings that elucidate how these enslaved people actually lived is so surprisingly engaging and accessible that at times this reads like a detective story, with one tantalizing clue leading the author to yet another. Recovered potsherds tell of economic interrelations between plantation slaves and Native Americans and of the too-little-recognized common thread between the extermination of Native Americans and racism against blacks. Toys and house sites allow examination of daily life. Utensils dug from the ground illuminate the slaves' diet and foodways. Ritual objects open up a discussion of African slave religion. Ferguson also tracks the differences in slave lifestyles between coastal South Carolina and tidewater Virginia. In the end, he concludes that, although the slave-owning whites may have held political and coercive power, they depended for survival on the practical knowledge and skills of their African American slaves. Ferguson proves his case that archeological research helps us envision the contrast between the world the slaves built and the European/American culture that they rejected. Ferguson is a professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- An examination of the American archaeological past and the emergence of the African-American field of study. Ferguson provides an account of a fictional slave's typical day, and the rest of the book reveals how this information has been pieced together over the past quarter of a century. Written in layman's terms, the book not only relates information about this field, but illustrates how it is done in reality as well as in theory. History students will enjoy this book for its informational content and for its revelation of how history is not set in stone, but changes and grows as we discover more about our past.
-Hugh McAloon, Frederick, MD
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books; Later prt. edition (September 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560980591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560980599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. J. Marsella on September 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides insight into the physical evidence being unearthed and explored by archaeologists engaged in the study of early colonial African American sites. While some of the content is a tad dry ,Professor Ferguson's enthusiasm for his subject manages to infuse much of this book with a sense of excitement that obviously drives the individuals engaged in this research.
Primarily focused on early plantation life in South Carolina, the book provides some fascinating comparisons between the rice culture there and the tobacco culture in Virginia explaining the effect of these differing lifestyles and then integrating the physical evidence into that discussion.
The book contains extensive appendices that list the major findings by location.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the vocabulary is very "60s anthropology". It good to see how historical archaeology is performed but the choice of words could be better.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book arrived as promised. Good condition.
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