Ship graffiti on the islands of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico: A comparative analysis

Lace, Michael J., Albury, Nancy A., Samson, Alice V. M., Cooper, Jago ORCID: and Ramos, Reniel Rodríguez (2019) Ship graffiti on the islands of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico: A comparative analysis. Journal of Maritime Archaeology, 14 (2). pp. 239-271. ISSN 1557-2285

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Across the Caribbean and adjacent regions, systematic inventories of historical ship graffiti remain markedly incomplete. Previous studies had identified several islands in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos associated with ship graffiti primarily within colonial period structures. We expanded the range of these preliminary inventories, recording a diverse array of ship graffiti specific to plantation era structures across seven islands in the Bahamian Archipelago, as well as the sole cave site known to harbor such imagery. Examples were also associated with Spanish colonial era fortifications in Old San Juan and found within a set of nine of the numerous caves found on Isla de Mona and two caves on the Puerto Rican mainland. Many of the nautical images encountered were previously unrecorded as they have only recently been revealed through systematic exploration and detailed site surveys, demonstrating that the phenomenon is regionally more widespread and complex than previously known. In this interregional study of ship graffiti in the Puerto Rican and Bahamian Archipelagos, we examine image distribution patterns, techniques, preservation status and historical context unique to each area, contrasting the respective Euro-colonial cultural arcs reflected in these distinctive nautical iconographies. Although each act of mark-making is historically and contextually unique, we consider what this imagery has in common, namely that the majority were produced under conditions of slavery, confinement, and/or hard labor.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors wish to thank the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation (AMMC) and Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission, Ministry of the Environment, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Department of the Environment and Coastal Affairs (DECA) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Puerto Rico Departmento Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (DRNA) and the Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica (Puerto Rico) for their support of cave research conducted in the respective study areas. The authors also wish to thank U.S. National Park Service resource managers for access to the respective colonial structures in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and to Grace Turner, John Mylroie, Joan Mylroie and Michael Albury for their assistance in the field. Publisher Copyright: © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Uncontrolled Keywords: bahamian plantations,guano caves,isla de mona,ship graffiti,archaeology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1204
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 08:30
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 11:30
DOI: 10.1007/s11457-019-09228-x

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