Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Ulin

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Pamela Stone

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Charles Hilton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This project investigates aspects of diet, health, and lifestyles of enslaved Africans of Bridgetown, Barbados during the 17th-19th centuries. The dentition of 10 Pierhead and Fontabelle individuals was examined to provide evidence of stress and coping capacities experienced within the urban context of slavery. Linear enamel hypoplasias (LEH), dental disease, and cultural modifications were noted. The frequencies of the pathologies were calculated and the peak age of stress occurrence for LEH were timed and compared with other New World enslaved populations in order to determine if differences existed in overall health and lifestyle experiences between those enslaved in cities and those enslaved in rural plantations.

The results demonstrate that the Pierhead and Fontabelle individuals expressed less non-specific systemic stress in regard to malnutrition and disease compared with most other groups of New World enslaved Africans from rural plantations. This is reflected in the low frequencies of linear enamel hypoplasia. However, analysis of other dental disease frequencies including carious lesions and periodontal disease exhibit similarities to those found on other New World enslaved populations suggesting similarities in diet, oral hygiene, and lifestyle behaviors.

Included in

Anthropology Commons