Mapping the Margins: Employing colonial cartographies and archaeological survey to locate inequality on the Coromandel Coast

Mark Hauser
Mon April 15th 2024, 3:30 - 5:00pm
Department of Anthropology
Building 50, Room 51A


Despite the integral role of marginalized communities within post-medieval South Indian social dynamics and archaeological landscapes, a host of factors such as taphonomic processes and colonial/post-colonial developments have limited archaeological visibility of their domestic settings, which are crucial for understanding inequality and everyday life. In this paper, we investigate the potential of colonial cartographic representations in identifying domestic spaces linked to marginalized communities in Tharangambadi and its surrounding areas before, during and after Danish administration. Our analysis underscores three key interconnected points: Firstly, marginalized communities are discernible in both archaeological remnants and historical maps, primarily through their labor activities. Secondly, their presence is evidenced by the material culture found within their domestic environments. Lastly, their absence from certain records also speaks volumes. Implicit in this examination is the recognition of valuable insights from regions like the Coromandel Coast, which can enrich the intellectual discourse within Historical Archaeology, particularly as it pertains to the Americas.


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