Chapter

Archaeological Perspectives on the Atlantic Slave Trade: Contrasts in Time and Space in Benin and Guinea

Kenneth G. Kelly

in Slavery in Africa

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264782
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754012 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264782.003.0007

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Archaeological Perspectives on the Atlantic Slave Trade: Contrasts in Time and Space in Benin and Guinea

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This chapter explores the impacts of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the European settlements of the New World on two settings along the West African coast. The Atlantic slave trade engaged societies ranging from complexly organised ‘states’ to loosely organised societies based on diverse local leadership. The chapter discusses archaeological investigations of one complex setting, that of the seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Hueda and Dahomey societies of the Bight of Benin, and contrasts those findings with preliminary results from the nineteenth-century sites along the Rio Pongo, Guinea, where the slave trade was conducted by a range of societies of less complex organisation. These investigations demonstrate that the specific responses of local African people to the Atlantic slave trade were highly variable.

Keywords: Atlantic slave trade; European settlements; Guinea; Benin; Hueda; Dahomey; Rio Pongo; African people

Chapter.  7659 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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