Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Frederick H. Smith
Marley R. Brown
Historians and anthropologists have investigated lead poisoning among colonial American populations. They argue that lead was an inadvertent component in colonial diets, and that it was introduced by a wide variety of sources, especially through the use of pewter and lead-glazed ceramic tablewares. However, assessing sources of lead contamination within certain populations in a society is complex. Studies have been conducted that offer insight into the nature of lead contamination, such as leaching from lead-glazed ceramics and pewter plates. Yet, these studies offer little insight into that nature of consumer populations and the way their actions, beliefs and behaviors shaped lead contamination and toxicity. In other words, the source of contamination does not necessarily mean that all individuals within that society were subjected to contact from a specific lead source. In addition to the scientific analysis of leaded sources and surviving evidence, the affected society must be examined in historical context in order to discover how interaction, identity, and behavior shaped and contributed to lead contamination.
Siedow, Erik A., "An Archaeological and Archaeometric Examination of Lead Contamination among Enslaved Populations in Barbados in the Early Colonial Era" (2010). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 866.
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