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DeCorse Quoted in The Guardian Article on the First Archaeological Dig of São Tomé and Príncipe

July 8, 2024

The Guardian

Chris DeCourse Headshot

Christopher DeCorse

A large sugar mill is the site of the first archaeological excavation to take place in São Tomé and Príncipe, a two-island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, almost five centuries after the island’s “discovery” by Europeans.

The dig, led by historical archaeologist M. Dores Cruz, sheds light on the birth of plantation agriculture and slavery as a racial system. 

“We have good insight into the big picture of slavery in São Tomé,” says Professor of Anthropology Christopher DeCorse, who is leading several archaeological projects on the coast of Ghana. But, “we don’t know how these plantations functioned. You have records of the number of people. You have dates. But the lifeways of people on a day-to-day basis are not so much. That reveals the grittiness. This is interesting and key to [Cruz’s] work.”

Read more in The Guardian article, “White gold, Black bodies: how a tiny African nation shaped the world.”

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