Arrrchaeology: Investigating Piracy in the Archaeological Record.
(Under the direction of Dr. Charles Ewen) Department of History, May 2006.
The underdeveloped potential of archaeology to examine piracy in the terrestrial archaeological record is examined in this thesis. It presents a historical context for the Golden Age of Piracy of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and also examines historical material to highlight some terrestrial pirate activities. The historical approach is used as the basis for presenting a model for investigating piracy in the archaeological record.
This thesis analyses the material culture from one archaeological site with known pirate associations, the Barcadares logwood cutting camp in Belize, by assigning artifacts to functional groups in order to highlight behavioral patterns. Other methods for directly and indirectly investigating piracy in the archaeological record are also examined. Finally, the analytical model presented along with the Barcadares material is tested by comparing the pirate assemblage to material recovered from two contemporaneous sites from colonial Nevis.
Several potential markers of pirate behavior visible in the archaeological record are presented, including low diversity of ceramic pipes and wares, relatively high percentages of tobacco pipe fragments in the material assemblage, high percentages of imports, and the presence of high status wares in areas where they might not be expected.