Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

Isotopic evidence for anthropogenic lead exposure on a 17th/18th century Barbadian plantation.

Laffoon, J.E. and Shuler, K. and Millard, A.R. and Connelly, J.N. and Schroeder, H. (2020) 'Isotopic evidence for anthropogenic lead exposure on a 17th/18th century Barbadian plantation.', American journal of physical anthropology., 171 (3). pp. 529-538.

Abstract

Objectives: To identify and characterize anthropogenic lead sources on a 17th/18th century Barbadian plantation and to test if lead isotope analyses can be used to identify the geographic origins of first‐generation African captives. Materials and Methods: We carried out lead (Pb) isotope analyses on dental enamel samples from 24 individuals from the Newton Plantation Cemetery in Barbados, which had previously been analyzed for strontium (Sr) and oxygen (O) isotope composition (Schroeder et al., American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2009, 139:547–557) and Pb concentrations (Schroeder et al., American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2013, 150:203–209. Results: We are able to identify British Pb sources, and more specifically Bristol/Mendips Pb, as the most likely source of anthropogenic Pb on the plantation, highlighting the impact of the British Atlantic economy on the lives of enslaved peoples in Barbados during the period of plantation slavery. Furthermore, we find that there is only one clear outlier among seven individuals who had previously been identified as African‐born based on their enamel Sr isotope composition (Schroeder et al., American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2009, 139:547–557). All other individuals present a very homogenous Pb isotope composition, which overlaps with that of British Pb sources. Conclusion: Our results indicate that while Pb isotope analyses can help identify and further characterize the sources of anthropogenic Pb in plantation settings, they might not be suited for identifying the origins of African‐born individuals in diasporic contexts.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF (Advance online version)
(2617Kb)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
(2617Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23938
Publisher statement:This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2019 The Authors. American Journal of Physical Anthropology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Date accepted:11 September 2019
Date deposited:18 October 2019
Date of first online publication:16 October 2019
Date first made open access:18 October 2019

Save or Share this output

Export:
Export
Look up in GoogleScholar