The Fiske Center Blog

Weblog for the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Sugar Loaf Works

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The jungle around what is probably the enslaved laborer village at Sugar Loaf needed to be cleaned up before doing some GPR survey.  The less space between the antenna and the ground, the better reading we get.  Brian and Doug got to work clearing the leaf litter and marking out the grid with flags.

Brian & Doug clean up the jungle

Mark, Doug, & Brian look out over the ruins of the great house at sugar loaf. Brian is eating from the seeds of a cocoa fruit.

After the GPR survey , we walked around the ruins of the plantation.  We looked at the great house, at the top of the hill.  Mark found some cocoa fruits for us to suck on as we walked around.   At the bottom of the hill, we saw the massive sugar works where the cane was crushed, and boiled to make sugar and molasses.  The gear Mark is pointing to was turned by a water wheel.

Mark Hauser describes how the sugar mill worked.

Author: John Steinberg

Dr. John Steinberg has been a Research Scientist at the Fiske Center since 2006. He received his PhD in Anthropology from UCLA in 1997. Before coming to UMass Boston, John taught at UCLA and California State University Northridge. He is interested in economic problems of colonization, both in New England and across the North Atlantic. He uses GIS and shallow geophysics to study settlement patterns to understand broad trends over the landscape. In addition to John's New England work, he is a co-PI on the the Skagafjordur Church and Settlement Survey (SCASS). SCASS is a multi-year project in Northern Iceland to understand the formation of social stratification and property rights during the Viking Age and after (AD 874-1700). For this work in Iceland, as well as other projects, John and his colleagues have received over $1,000,000 in research grants, mostly from the National Science Foundation. John is the director of the Digital Archaeology Laboratory at the Fiske Center.

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