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Archaeological investigation at the Danish plantation site of Brockman, Ghana

James Boachie-Ansah
p. 149-172

Résumé

Des fouilles archéologiques conduites en janvier 2002 sur une plantation située en un lieu appelé Brockman ont livré à la fois des objets fabriqués localement et des céramiques vernissées européennes, des bouteilles, etc. Les bouteilles et les céramiques européennes sont de la fin du xixe siècle et, pour quelques-unes, du début du xxe. Le secteur du site qui a été fouillé a probablement été occupé après 1850, année pendant laquelle les Danois vendirent leurs possessions de la Gold Coast aux Anglais, et un peu avant ou après, l’abolition du commerce interne des esclaves et du statut légal des esclaves, respectivement en 1874 et 1875. Les objets découverts en fouille peuvent par conséquent ne pas être liés au Danois Neils Brock, dont les documents écrits attestent qu’il a acheté la plantation en 1834. Les formes des récipients en céramique locale montrent une influence Akan qui peut aussi être identifiée sur d’autres sites des Accra Plains ; elles attestent de l’hétérogénéité de la population de la région des Accra Plains résultant de mouvements de populations dont les Akan vers la région d’Accra en raison du commerce lucratif qui y était possible, non seulement d’esclaves, mais aussi de marchandises telles que l’huile de palme et l’or.

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Entrées d’index

Index géographique :

Brockman, Ghana, Accra
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Texte intégral

Introduction

1The Danes operated and traded on the Gold Coast, now Ghana, for a period of 192 years, from 1658 (when they took over Swedish forts and stations at Cape Coast, and later at Takoradi, Anomabu and Accra) to 1850 when they sold their holdings to the British (McCall, 1965: xi-xxix; Nørregard, [1954] 1966:16-17; Boahen, 1975:34-37; Webster and Boahen, 1980:156-193). Among the Danish possessions on the Gold Coast were the castle of Amanfro (also known as Frederiksberg or Frederiksborg) acquired in 1659 from the king of Fetu and located a few metres to the east of Cape Coast Castle (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:23); Fort Christianborg in Osu, Accra, seized from the Swedes in 1658 and later from the Dutch in 1661 (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:42-43), and now the seat of the Government of Ghana; a lodge on the Island of Ada and at Keta, built in 1731 and 1744 respectively (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:145); Fort Augustaborg and Fort Isegram built in 1787 at Teshi and Kpone respectively; Fort Kongesten built in 1783 at Ada, and Fort Prisensten, built in the 1780s at Keta (Isert [1788] 1992:71-74; Winsnes, 1992:1-2).

2Like other European powers on the Gold Coast, the Danes traded with the local inhabitants in such commodities as palm oil, ivory and gold. They also participated in the trade in slaves, many of whom were sent to the Islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:93). Slaves kept at the Danish forts were used as soldiers, as cultivators of vegetables and orchards around the forts, and as canoe-men to transport goods and slaves to merchant ships which, because of lack of deep water ports, anchored beyond the surf line.

3By the end of the 18th century, the Danes had been convinced that profitable plantation agriculture could be established in the Akwapim Hills just north of the Accra Plains (Rathbone, 1995:57), and purposed to produce on the Gold Coast some of the crops needed in European markets such as cotton, coffee and indigo.

4Before January 1803, the effective date of the prohibition by Denmark of the export of enslaved Africans, attempts had been made to establish plantations on the Gold Coast. One such attempt had been made in the late 1760s by Bargum’s Trading Society (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:173). In 1788, Paul Erdmann Isert who served as a resident medical doctor to the Danish establishment on the Gold Coast from 1783 to 1787, and who believed that the crops cultivated in the West Indies could be produced on the Gold Coast at a cheaper cost, returned to the Gold Coast with a Danish government grant to establish a plantation known as Frederiksnopel (Isert, [1788] 1992:241-297; Nørregard, [1954]1966:173-174; Dickson,1971:128; Winsnes, 1992:1-8).

5Other plantations established before the prohibition of the export of enslaved Africans by Denmark were the Frederikssted plantation established at Dodowa in the foothills of the Akuapem Mountains in 1792 (Jeppesen, 1966:76); the Frederiksberg (Frederiksborg) Plantation established in 1797 at Kuku Hill, about 1km to the north-west of Christianborg Castle (1797) (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:179; Adams, 1957:37-38), and the Ejebo Plantation established in 1800 at Ada (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:181-183).

6Reports reached Denmark that it was possible to cultivate many of the crops grown in the West Indies on the Gold Coast. Some of the produce from the plantations in the Gold Coast was shipped to Copenhagen. The quality of the produce was considered excellent (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:175-180). The export of plant products such as cotton, indigo and coffee, together with the already well-established trade in palm oil was considered a suitable and profitable substitute to the export slave trade (Winsnes, 2002:2-3). It is even thought that one of the incentives for abolishing the export of slaves was the news that tropical crops could be produced easily on the Gold Coast (Nørregard, [1954] 1966:175) for the Danish market. Plantation agriculture was therefore seen as a preparatory measure to abolish the export slave trade (Dickson, 1971:128).

7After the abolition of the export trade in slaves by Denmark, several other plantations were established on the Gold Coast. Among these were plantations near “Oyadufa” [Oyarefa] purchased in 1806 by Peter Meyer who also managed the plantation at Bibease (Nørregard [1954] 1966:182); at Daccubie [Dakobi] where the Danish Governor, Christian Schiønning cultivated coffee, plantain, cassava, maize and dye plants (Nørregard ([1954] 1966:183; Adams, 1957:39; Dickson, 1971:129; Decorse, 1987:27-32; 1993:149-173); near Seseme where George August Lutterodt, a merchant cultivated maize and coffee at a farm called De Forende Brødre (meaning “United Brothers”) (Adams, 1957:41-42; Bredwa Mensah, 2002:57-59); at Pompo near Dakobi, where J.F. Swanikjaer’s farm, Den Nye Prove (meaning “New Attempt”) originally established in 1807, was restarted with a loan from the Danish Administration in 1828 (Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:59); at Seseme, where a plantation belonging to the Danish Government and known as Frederiksgave was bought in 1831 by Governor Ludvig Vincent Hein (Nørregard [1954] 1966:204, 211, 216, 222; Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:113-116). Many of the slaves from the Danish forts were moved to the plantations.

8One of the plantations established after the abolition of the export slave trade is that located at Brockman (see Fig.1). The plantation site was located by Dr. Yaw Bredwa-Mensah with the assistance of local guides from Seseme village in 1977. The plantation, known as Myretuen (meaning “an anthill”) was located on a site purchased by Neils Brock, a Danish official who arrived on the Gold Coast as an Assistant to the Danish Administration at Christianborg in 1820 and who acted as Governor at Christianborg on three occasions (Reindorf, [1895] 1966:338; Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:61).

Figure 1 - Map showing Brockman and other Danish plantations in Ghana

Figure 1 - Map showing Brockman and other Danish plantations in Ghana

9It is in his third term as Governor of Chritianborg (which began in July1833 and ended in December 1834) that Neils Brock bought from C.P. Palm the old plantation of Myretuen. The agreement on the purchase of the plantation was concluded on 20th March 1834 and the title deed contained in “ Guineiske Journaler ” (G.J. 539/1844) in the Danish Archives at Copenhagen and cited by Bredwa-Mensah (2002:61) reads as follows:

I the undersigned, C.P. Palm hereby proclaim that I have sold my plantation on the Akwapim Mountains, bordered on the east by the negro Tono’s and Mr. Lutterodt’s land on the west by mulatto Indian Johanne Flint’s land, on the north by Mr. Lutterodt’s and the negro Obeng Kumma’s land, on the south by the negro Tette Halebo’s and mulatto Indian Johanne Flint’s land. The land was bought by Governor N. Brock and Mr. Chenon, a member of the present royal government on behalf of the Government. These gentlemen have paid the entire price of the plantation to me and for this reason, from this day, neither myself nor my heirs have any claim on the government, neither in respect of the plantation buildings, trees or any other item found on the plantation.

10It appears from the above quotation that Brockman (or Myretuen) was a government-owned plantation. Yet Bredwa-Mensah (2002:57) citing Christensen (1831:8) claims that the plantation, together with six others were privately owned by Danes or African Danes. That Myretuen was the personal property of Neils Brock is perhaps supported by the fact that the plantation was also called Brockman or Brockmang, an Akan rendering for “Brock’s settlement”. The name “Brockmang” appears on a British map of 1873, and it is possible that the plantation was bought by Neils Brock to be kept as his personal property, or was later transferred to him.

11The plantation, claimed to have occupied an area of 41.37 ha and said to have had an African village where a work-force of eight slaves lived (Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:62), was shown to the writer by Dr. Bredwa-Mensah in January 2002. The plantation owner’s house, built of stone and said to have measured 15m x 8.5m in 1997 (Bredwa-Mensah 2002:62) was almost unidentifiable except for a short remnant of the stone wall (Fig.2). The plantation house had been almost destroyed by farming activities. There was therefore the need to carry out a rescue excavation on the site with the hope of recovering data on the lifeways of the occupants of the house.

Figure 2 - Brockman: Remnant of plantation building

Figure 2 - Brockman: Remnant of plantation building

The Site

12Myretuen or Brockman lies about 350m above sea level on the foot path from Seseme to Brekuso. The site is located 1.2km to the north-west of the Frederiksgave plantation at Seseme, on a land that now belongs to Nii Adjetefio Tokodieh. The late Mr. Maxwell Abbey of Seseme (aged 54 years in 2002) claimed that the site was occupied by one Ayi Mensah, a blacksmith, in the 1950s. It is likely that Ayi Mensah made some modifications on the original plantation house for he is said to have roofed the building with iron roofing sheets. Fragments of roofing sheets (Fig.3) were found on the surface of the site, close to the building.

Figure 3 - Fragment of a roofing sheet from the surface

Figure 3 - Fragment of a roofing sheet from the surface

13The site of the plantation is cultivated with cassava and maize. Several of the stones used in building the plantation house have been grouped in piles to make way for the cultivation of crops.

14Several artefacts were found on the surface of the site, close to the plantation building. These include European glazed earthenware dating to the late 19th century (Figs.4-6); German porcelain of the late 19th century (Fig.7), and a fragment of a bone china cup dated to the late 19th to early 20th century, a piece of which was also found in the excavations. Other finds found on the surface of the site include broken bottles, sandstone grindstones, locally manufactured pottery and shells of Archatina achatina and Diplodonta diaphana.

Figures 4-7 - Finds of earthenware and porcelain sherds found on the surface of the site

Figures 4-7 - Finds of earthenware and porcelain sherds found on the surface of the site

4. Earthenware plate with under-glaze transfer -printed decoration, late 19th century; 5. Transfer-printed earthenware, c.1860-1890; 6. Earthenware with printed maker’s marks ‘GERMANY’ & ‘SAXONIA’, post 1891; 7. German porcelain of the late 19th century (surface find)

15The vegetation consists of scrubs, a few palm trees (Elaeis guineensis) and drought resistant plants such as Zanthoxylum xanthoxyloides, Ficus capensis, Vitex doniana and Nauclea latifolia. Remnant forest species such as Cola gingantea and Cola nitida suggest that the vegetation was originally forest. The commonest plant on the site is the scrub Chromolaena odorata (locally called “Acheampong”). This scrub is difficult to penetrate and makes reconnaissance an arduous task.

16An intensive survey aimed at locating remnants of the houses of the eight enslaved workers of the plantation was undertaken without success by a team comprising the writer and 16 students of the Department of Archaeology, University of Ghana, Legon. Particular attention was paid to searching the area to the west, north and north-west of the plantation house. The land descends into a valley in these directions. It was the tradition of Europeans on the Gold Coast to build their houses in elevated places overlooking the residences of the indigenous population. Ruins of the houses of the enslaved workers on the plantation are therefore likely to be found in the lowland area of the site. Despite the intensive search, the research team did not find traces of any other building apart from the stone plantation house.

17The remnant of the stone house, probably the plantation owner’s house, consists of a wall built with dressed sandstone (Figs.2 and 9). The wall measures about 60 cm high and 45 cm thick. One section of the wall is aligned on a north-west / south-east axis and is joined at an angle of 90° by another wall stretching from the north-east corner of the building to the south-west. The north-east / south-west wall has been disturbed by farming activities. About 3 m to the south and south-east of the wall built on the north-east /south-west axis is a curved wall, also built of sandstones (Figs.8 and 9). Such curved stone walls are characteristic of some of the Danish plantations such as De Forende Brødre (see Jeppesen, 1966) and Frederisksgave (see Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:124-127). The curved wall was an embankment of dressed stone which usually stretched along the entire length of plantation buildings to protect the plantation sites from run-off water from relatively steep slopes. They were usually built to enclose the back of the plantation buildings. It is reasonable to assume that the curved wall at Brockman was meant to prevent run-off water from flooding the plantation house since the site slopes towards the house and beyond. The entrance of the plantation house was probably on the side of the house opposite the embankment, and may have overlooked the residence of the enslaved workers, most likely to have been located in the lower slopes of the site. Figure8 is a hypothetical reconstruction based on the dimensions of the building as recorded by Bredwa-Mensah (2002:62) in 1997 and on the structure and shape of other Danish plantations on the Gold Coast. It is likely that the entrance led to a long corridor which was connected by a door to a living room which was in turn connected to other rooms. Buildings of this kind were characteristic of the Danish plantations.

Figure 8 - Brockman: Hypothetical reconstruction of plantation building

Figure 8 - Brockman: Hypothetical reconstruction of plantation building

18The stones were probably set in mortar made from shells as was the case with the Frederiksgave Plantation house (see Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:124-127) and other Danish plantations. The stones could easily be quarried from the Akwapim Mountains on which the site is located. The mountains abound in sandstone (Kesse, 1985:10) which in the case of Frederisksgave was quarried immediately behind the plantation building (Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:127).

19It is likely that the plantation house was roofed with grass. In 1949, the British Governor at Cape Coast, Sir W. Winniet, who inspected the Danish possessions prior to their transfer to the British in 1950, described the nearby Frederiksgave Plantation house as a building roofed with grass (International Legal Materials, Volume xxxiv, 1995, No.5: 1322-1339). Recent investigations by a team working on the restoration of Frederisksgave have revealed that planks of borasus palm, a termite-resistant plant were placed across the buildings, and hewn sandstones were placed on the planks to provide some kind of stone roofing (personal communication of B.M. Murey, August 2006). Grass may thus has been used to cover the stone roof to give a cooling effect.

Excavations at Brockman

20The site was excavated from the 17th to the 26th of January 2002. In all, four trenches were excavated (Fig.9). The trenches had diverse stratigraphies with up to three levels for Trench2 and one single level for Trench4; the colours of each level were determined by the Standard Colour Soil Chart (see Fig.10 (Trenches 1 and 2) and Fig. 11 (Trench 3); Trench 4 is not illustrated).

Figure 9 - Brockman: Plan of excavations and remnants of plantation building

Figure 9 - Brockman: Plan of excavations and remnants of plantation building

Figure 10 - Brockman: Sections of north-west wall of Trench 1 and south-east wall of Trench 2

Figure 10 - Brockman: Sections of north-west wall of Trench 1 and south-east wall of Trench 2

Figure 11 - Brockman: Section of north-west wall of Trench 3

Figure 11 - Brockman: Section of north-west wall of Trench 3

21These together with the cultural material retrieved from the different levels of the trenches are synthesized below in Table 1.

Table 1: Synopsis of the trenches of excavations

Situation

Depth attained

Stratigraphy

Finds

Trench 1

2mx6m

Dug at the base of the wall of the Plantation house

67cm

1rst level (above) (Fig.10): 20 cm thick

Loose dark reddish-brown soil

(Hue 2.5 HY 4/1) w/ rootlets

Locally-manufactured pottery

European glazed pottery

Grindstones

Iron objets (enamel bowls, part of buckets, locks, hoe and axe blades, finger ring)

Beads

2nd level (under): 30cm thick

Bright reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 5/8)

Underlaid by sandstone

Few locally-manufactured pottery

Trench 2

(Fig.10)

2mx4m

Opened 5.1m to the NW of Trench1

43cm

1st level

Dark reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 4/1).

Max. thickness: 13cm

Locally-manufactured pottery

European glazed sherds

Fragm. of an European smoking pipe

Iron objects (a knife blade, nail, rim of a barrel (?), part of an iron trap, a blade of a hoe

Animal bones and shells

2nd level (under) (25cm)

Brown soil (Hue 2.5 YR 4/8), with lateritic concretions

Locally-manufactured pottery

Broken bottles

3rd level

Bright reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 5/8).

Underlaid by a bed of sandstone

Tiny fragm. of locally-manufactured pottery

Trench 3

(Fig. 11)

2mx4m

Opened 7.5m SW of Trench2

53cm

1rst level

Dark reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 4/1).

Max. thickness: 22cm

Locally-manufactured pottery

Few European glazed sherds

Fragm. of bottles

Shells of molluscs

2nd level (26cm)

Same reddish brown soil as in Trench2

(Hue 2.5 YR 4/8)

Locally-manufactured pottery

Broken bottles

Shells

3rd level

Bright reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 5/8).

Underlaid by a bed of sandstone

Only a few fragm. of local pottery

Trench 4

(not ill.)

2mx3m

Opened 4m SW of Trench1

15cm

One single level

Dark reddish brown soil

(Hue 2.5 YR 4/1).

Underlaid by sandstone

Locally-manufactured pottery

Variety of iron objects (a hoe blade, gun parts, lid of an enamel bowl, a cutlass blade, etc.)

Shells

The Finds

Locally-Manufactured Pottery

22The term “locally-manufactured pottery” used in this paper simply means pottery made within Ghana. The pottery may not have been made in the Brockman area. It may have been imported from a potting centre or centres, near or far. Samples of the sherds have been submitted to the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission for mineralogical analysis and the results are being awaited. All the sherds on the surface of the excavated area, totaling 148, were collected for study (see Figs.12 and 13). These are similar to those recovered from the excavations (see Figs. 14 and 15). Jars with everted rims and constricted necks (Fig.12 a-d) and rim diameter ranging from 20 to 24 cm are the predominant vessels. Red-slipping was unpopular, and only a few of the sherds are red-slipped. Some of the sherds are well-burnished and smudged. The jars are covered with soot from open air fire – an indication that they were used for cooking. Decoration consists of single and multiple circumferential grooves on the neck, shoulder and rim.

Figures 12 and 13 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from the surface

Figures 12 and 13 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from the surface

Figures 14 and 15 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from excavations

Figures 14 and 15 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from excavations

23Among the sherds from the surface are also vessels with everted rims and carination (Figure 13a). These vessels are typically Akan, and are used as eating bowls.

24Also represented are hemispherical open bowls (Fig.13 b-d). One of the open bowls (Fig.13b) has circumferential grooves in the interior of the vessels. The grooves are not decorative but are functional and facilitate grating.

25Also represented in the vessel forms is a vessel with an incurved rim (Fig.13e).

26A total of 162 sherds was recovered from the excavations. As can be seen from Figs.14 and 15, the excavated pottery bears close resemblance to the pottery from the surface. Jars with everted rims (Fig.14 a-d); the Akan eating bowl (Fig.14e); the open hemispherical bowls (Fig.15 a, c); bowls with incurved rims (Fig.15b) and the open bowls used for grating (Fig.15c) are all represented in the excavated pottery. The pottery is similar throughout the stratigraphic levels and there is no evidence of cultural change in the local ceramics.

Figures 16 to 25 - European glazed pottery recovered from excavation

Figures 16 to 25 - European glazed pottery recovered from excavation

16. Earthenware plate, moulded rim patterns and under-glaze painted decoration, late 19th century; 17. Earthenware plate, under-glaze, blue banded edge common from about 1860 (excavated); 18. German plate (Meissen) of the late 19th century; 19. Earthenware, transfer-printed decoration, C. 1862-1870; 20. Earthenware plate, under-glaze transfer-printed, floral pattern; 21. Earthenware plate or soup plate, under-glaze printed leaf/floral decoration and under-glaze painted line to the rim, late19th century; 22. Earthenware plate, rim moulded in style reminiscent of late ‘ironstone china’, C.1860-1870; 23. Earthenware base, transfer-printed maker’s mark in turquoise, dates after 1891; 24. Eartenware rim, late 19th century; 25. Earthenware plate base with maker’s marks ‘germany’ & ‘saxonia’, post1891

European Glazed Pottery

27Pictures of 65 glazed sherds from the surface and from the excavations were submitted to Dr. David Barker of the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, England, for comments on dates of manufacture and countries of origin. According to Dr.Barker (personal communication, June 2002), the “sherds are probably English or British, unless otherwise stated and “all of the sherds date to the late 19th century (or some possibly just into the 20th century)”. Dr.Barker has also commented that most of the sherds, with the exception of one possible tea ware are table wares. He finally concludes that “earthen wares predominate, but there are German porcelains and bone chinas from Britain”. The sherds include an earthenware plate with moulded rim patterns and under-glaze painted decoration of the late 19th century (Fig.16; 16 pieces); earthenware plates with under-glaze painted blue banded edge common from about 1860 onwards (Fig.16; 5 pieces), German porcelain of the late 19th century (Fig.18; 4 pieces); bone china manufactured in the late 19th or early 20th century (2 pieces); earthenware, with transfer-printed decoration dating to c.1860-1870 (Fig.19; 3 pieces) and under-glaze transfer-printed earthenware with floral decoration of the late 19th century (Fig.20; 24 pieces).

28Other European sherds found in the excavations consist of earthenware plate or soup plate with under-glaze printed, leaf/floral decoration and under-glaze painted line to the rim, dating to the late 19th century (Fig.21); earthenware plate rim moulded in a style reminiscent of late ‘ironstone china’ dating to c.1860-1870 (Fig.22); earthenware base sherd with transfer-printed maker’s mark in turquoise, dating to the period after 1891 (Fig.23); earthenware rim sherd of the late 19th century (Fig.24), and earthenware base with maker’s mark ‘germany’ and ‘saxonia’ dated to the period after 1891 (Fig.25). The categories of the glazed sherds and their dates of manufacture are provided in Appendix 1.

Bottles

29Broken bottles were found on the surface of the site. These consisted of fragments of an amber-coloured beer bottle without the rim; two green beer bottles with a seamline from the rim to the base; remnants of a light green bottle without a seamline and with elongated bubbles in the broken neck – an indication that the neck was vertically drawn; pieces of a green case bottle with a decoration of a horse-rider and with a partly broken inscription ‘black…’ and fragments of what appear to be schnapps bottles.

  • 1 Hunt (1970:10-11) has observed that glasses with manganese impurities turn purple when exposed to s (...)

30Broken bottles were also found in the excavations. These include fragments of a lamp shade; a broken lemonade bottle (Fig.26) tinted with a purple colour and therefore showing evidence of manganese impurities at the time of manufacture, and probably deposited on the site before World War I1; a small green bottle, probably a container for beer, measuring16 cm high, with a base diameter of 7 cm and a seamline running through the entire length of the bottle and probably dating to the early 20th century (Fig.27); a white medicinal bottle (Fig.28) characterised by a seamline from rim to base and probably dating to the early 20th century; a green beer bottle with a seamline running through the entire length of the bottle (Fig.29) and most likely manufactured in the 20th century; a perfume bottle with the inscription PC on top of the lid, likely to have been manufactured in the early 20th century (Fig.30, first from left) and a probable late 19th to early 20th century schnapps bottle with a seamline from the neck to the base and with a rim made separately and attached to the neck (Fig.31). All these bottles were recovered from the first level of Trench 1. Recovered from the first level of Trench 2 were a partly broken medicinal bottle with a rim diameter of 2 cm and probably manufactured in the late 19th or early 20th century, and the base of a white drinking glass, already turning purple and likely to have been brought to the site before World War I. Also found in the first level of Trench 2 is a perfume bottle (Fig.32) with a seam line running from the shoulder along the entire body and with the rim and neck separately made, and then attached to the body.

Figures 26 to 34: Bottles and fragments of bottles recovered from excavation

Figures 26 to 34: Bottles and fragments of bottles recovered from excavation

26. Broken lemonade bottle; 27. Beer bottle, probably early 20th century; 28. Medicine bottle, probably early 20th century; 29. Beer bottle, probably early 20th century; 30. (From left) Perfume bottle with inscription ‘pc’ on the lid, medicine bottle and perfume bottle with seam line from shoulder to entire body; 31. Schnapps bottle, late 19th to early 20th century; 32. Perfume bottle with seam line from shoulder to entire body; 33. Lemonade bottle with a metal clamp; 34. Schnapps bottle with a stork brand and the mark ‘i.a.i.nolet

31Another confirmation that most of the bottles were made in the late 19th or early 20th century comes from the first level of Trench 3 from which was found a lemonade bottle (Fig.33) measuring 22 cm tall with a basal diameter of 7 cm and a green schnapps bottle 26 cm tall (Fig.34). The lemonade bottle has its metal clamp still intact, and the schnapps one has a stork with a crown above the head branded on the shoulder, and with the inscription ‘i.a.i. nolet’, the manufacturer’s name. Similar liquor bottles including those manufactured by J.H. Henkes and I.A.I.Nolet and marked ‘shiedam’ have been found by Bredwa-Mensah (2002:169-173) at the nearby Frederiksgave Plantation site.

Beads

32A brown carnelian bead, a known import from Brazil in the 1920s and 1930s and a blue Russian faceted bead (Fig.35) known to have been exported from Bohemia into the Gold Coast from the 1840s (personal communication of L.B.Crossland, September, 2006) were recovered from the first level of Trench 1.

Figure 35 - A brown Carnelian and a blue faceted bead

Figure 35 - A brown Carnelian and a blue faceted bead

Cuprous Objects

33Cuprous objects from the excavations consisted of a finger ring, a button, and the base of a bowl which measured 27 cm in diameter (Fig.36). All the cuprous objects were recovered from the first level of Trench 1.

Figure 36 - Base of a cuprous bowl

Figure 36 - Base of a cuprous bowl

Building Construction Hardware

34Among the artefacts recovered from the surface of the site and in the excavations are architecturally related items made of iron. These include a latch (Fig.37, second from top); four locks (Fig.38); screws and nails (Figs.39, 40, and 53); and three keys (Fig.38), all from the first level of Trench1. Also found were door hinges (Figs.37 and 41), one of which was picked from the surface of the site, two from the first level of Trench 1, and one from the first level of Trench3. A fragment of an iron roofing sheet (Fig.3), probably a fragment of the sheets used in roofing the house in the 1950s was found on the surface, close to the building.

Figure 37 - (From top) a hinge, a latch and a knife blade

Figure 37 - (From top) a hinge, a latch and a knife blade

Figure 38 - Locks and keys

Figure 38 - Locks and keys

Figure 39 - Screws and nails

Figure 39 - Screws and nails

Figure 40 – Nails

Figure 40 – Nails

Figure 41 - A door hinge

Figure 41 - A door hinge

Figure 42 - Barrel bracket, chisels, drill and cutlass blade

Figure 42 - Barrel bracket, chisels, drill and cutlass blade

Figure 43 - Rim and handle of a bucket

Figure 43 - Rim and handle of a bucket

Figure 44 - Enamel bowls

Figure 44 - Enamel bowls

Figure 45 - A ladle

Figure 45 - A ladle

Household items

35Items used in the home include six knife blades from the first level of Trench 1, (Fig.37); five enamel bowls from the first level of Trenches1 and 3 (Fig.44); three fragments of an enamel bowl from Trench3, level 1, and a brown enamel bowl from the first level of Trench 3. One of the bowls has a flared mouth and a base diameter of 16 cm. Some of the bowls are painted white at both exterior and interior, while others are painted white only in the interior. One bowl was painted on the exterior with a combination of white and blue, and has a rim diameter of 12.5 cm, a base diameter of 9.5 cm and a height of 7.5 cm. Another bowl which has its base completely removed has a rim diameter of 23 cm and a height estimated a little above 9 cm. The smallest bowl, characterised by a rolled-over rim which measures 9.5 cm in diameter, stands at a height of 3.5 cm with a base diameter of 7 cm.

36Also found in the first level of Trench 1 is a fragment of an iron bowl commonly known as daresen (literally an iron vessel). The daresen has a bulbous shape and is usually provided with a handle. The fragment found in the excavations, like present-day examples, is decorated with embossed or relief decoration of circumferential lines. The fragment measures 16 x 6.5 cm. The bowl type is usually used as a cooking vessel by present-day Ghanaians.

37A rim of a bucket (Fig.43) was found in association with the handle in the first level of Trench2. The handle measures 33.5 cm long and 1.2 cm wide; is broken at one end, but the other terminal is twisted in a loop. Another handle of a bucket was found on the surface of the site.

38A ladle with the handle detached from the receptacle (Fig.45) was found in the first level of Trench 1. It is painted in white, and the handle, twisted in a loop at the terminal measures 24 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. The receptacle of the ladle measures 9 cm in diameter. The handle was found together with a key for opening a sardine tin.

Farming Tools

39Farming tools, all made of iron, consisted of four machete blades recovered from the first levels of Trenches 3 and 4 (Fig.42); two hoe blades from the first level of Trench 2 (Figs. 46 and 47); and an axe blade (Fig.48) from the first level of Trench 1.

Figure 46 - Hoe blade

Figure 46 - Hoe blade

Figure 47 - Hoe blade

Figure 47 - Hoe blade

Figure 48 - Axe blade

Figure 48 - Axe blade

Figure 49 - Parts of trap, chisels and a file

Figure 49 - Parts of trap, chisels and a file

Figure 50 - Iron object, probably a blacksmith’s tool

Figure 50 - Iron object, probably a blacksmith’s tool

Figure 51 - Cutlass and knife blades

Figure 51 - Cutlass and knife blades

Figure 52 - Parts of an iron trap

Figure 52 - Parts of an iron trap

Tools

40A group of artefacts that may be described as tools was found in the first level of Trench1. They consist of a drill measuring 39 cm long with a cylindrical handle (Fig.42); two files (Fig.49) measuring 19.2 x 1.5 cm and 14.8 x 2 cm; seven iron objects, probably chisels (Fig.49) and a heavy iron object weighing 3 kg and measuring 23 x 5 cm (Fig. 50), probably a blacksmith’s tool.

Iron traps

41Parts of traps for catching rodents and bovid (Figs.49 and 52) were recovered from the first levels of Trenches 1 and 2).

Dress-related Item

42The hook of a belt (Fig.54) was found in the first level of Trench 1.

Figure 53 - Nails and screws

Figure 53 - Nails and screws

Figure 54 - Belt hook

Figure 54 - Belt hook

Parts of Firearms

43Parts of guns (Figs. 55 and 56) including three triggers (Fig.55), a but plate (Figure 56) and a side plate (Fig. 55, upper right) were recovered from the first level of Trench 1. The side plate belongs to a type described by Ivor Noel Hume (1969:215-216, Fig. 70) as “British military musket side plate, India Pattern”. This type of side plate, according to Hume, was made for a musket initially built after 1797 for the East India Company, and was also adopted by the British army. There were moves to replace the “Indian Pattern” side plate with what has been described by Hume (1969: 216) as the “New Land Pattern”, a side plate with three holes instead of the two holes characteristic of the “Indian Pattern”. The “New Land Pattern” musket was produced intermittently until about 1838, by which time the existing Indian and New Land pattern weapons were slowly replaced by new forms of guns.

Figure 55 - Parts of firearms

Figure 55 - Parts of firearms

Figure 56 - Butt plate of a gun

Figure 56 - Butt plate of a gun

Barrel Brackets

44Barrel brackets (Fig.57) made of iron were recovered from the surface of the site and from the first level of all the trenches. They were broken into pieces and range from 15 to 75 cm long and from 3.5 to 5 cm wide.

Figure 57 - Barrel brackets

Figure 57 - Barrel brackets

45These were probably used to strengthen wooden barrels used as containers of cheap wine. It has also been suggested that they were used to reinforce wooden barrels used for transporting palm oil to Europe (discussion with B.Crossland, September, 2006).

Iron Pulley

46An iron pulley (Fig. 60) was found in the first level of Trench 1. Probably of a 20th century date, the pulley may have been part of a machine. This is certainly recent and probably dates to the second half of the 20th century.

Figure 58 – Grindstones

Figure 58 – Grindstones

Figure 59 - A piece of ivory

Figure 59 - A piece of ivory

Figure 60 - Iron pulley

Figure 60 - Iron pulley

Grindstones

47One lower grindstone measuring 30 x 25.5 cm, and made up of granite was found on the surface of the site. Five lower grindstones were recovered from the first level of Trench1. Of these, one is spherical, made up of quartzite, and measures 7.5 cm wide and 4 cm high. The other four are of sandstone, cylindrical in shape, and measure 26 cm long on the average (Fig.58).

Zoo-archaeological Finds

48Twelve shells of Archatina achatina and one of Diplodonta diaphana were found on the surface of the site. Sixteen shells of Arcachatina, one of Cypraea moneta and nine shells of Diplodonta diaphana were recovered in excavations (see Appendix 2).

49Animal bones were also recovered from the excavations (see Appendix 3). It was not possible to identify the bones to specific species. In all twelve bones of bovid and one of Aves and a piece of ivory (Fig. 59) were found in the excavations.

Discussion

50The excavations have revealed a shallow, single occupation in all the trenches with no evidence of cultural change. Similar cultural materials were found in the excavations and on the surface of the site.

51The artefacts found in the excavations are in consonance with that expected from a plantation site. The farming tools such as hoe, cutlass and axe blades testify to farming activities.

52As indicated earlier, many of the artefacts, particularly the imported European ceramics and the bottles date the site to the late 19th and early 20th century, long after the purchase of the plantation by Neils Brock in 1834. The author has no information as to when Neils Brock died. However, he is said to have arrived in the Gold Coast in 1820 (Bredwa-Mensah 2002:61). By the time he purchased the plantation, he had already been in the Gold Coast for 14 years. Given the fact that most of the Danes on the Gold Coast died (usually of malaria) within a few years of their arrival (see Winsnes, 2004), it is unlikely that Neils Brock lived into the 1860s and 1870s. It is probable that many of the bottles and European pottery from the excavations post date his death.

53Many of the bottles found in the excavations are recent. A clue to their age is that they are machine-made and have seam lines that extend the whole length of the two sides and across the lip of the neck. Such bottles were made from the time of World War I (Hunt, 1970:9-10) and therefore are quite recent. The European glazed sherds certainly date to the period after 1850, the year in which the Danes sold their possessions to the British and left the Gold Coast. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of the sherds, in the words of David Barker (personal communication, June 2002) “are probably English or British”.

54There are few bottles with necks which were finished by hand. Such bottles have seams which end at the base of the neck and were sealed with cork stoppers rather than with metal caps characteristic of bottles manufactured after 1900. They date to the period before 1900 (Hunt, 1970:10) and are likely to have been made by a two-piece hinged mould introduced into the bottle-making industry from about 1840 (Switzer, 1974:6). The most significant features of bottles produced in two-piece moulds are vertical mould lines which run the entire length of the bottles from the bases to the necks (Lorrain, 1968:39-40; Switzer, 1974:6). The mould lines disappeared on the upper necks because they were obliterated by reheating the glass to apply the lip finish. These characteristics aptly apply to one of the possible schnapps or gin bottles found in the excavations, and may date the site from the 1840s. However such bottles were made up to 1900 (see Hunt, 1970:10), and could have been brought to the site in the late 19th century. Their association with late 19th century European ceramics suggests a similar date for their introduction to the site.

55The firearms traded on the West Coast were typically of poor quality and antiquated (DeCorse, 2001:169). Innovations in European firearm technology were not reflected in the firearms available in West Africa. This means that the dates of manufacture of firearms may not precisely date the sites from which such arms are recovered. The association of the gun parts with European glazed pottery of the late 19th century strongly argues for the same date for the use of the guns whose parts have been found at Brockman. For this reason, the side plate of a musket found in the excavations and usually dated to the period from about 1797 to 1838 (see Hume, 1969:215-216) may also have been brought to the site in the late 19th century.

56It was not until 1874 that the British abolished the internal trade in slaves, and not until February 1875 that the legal status of slavery was abolished in the Gold Coast (Haenger, 2000:121). By the Ordinance of 1875, all children of slaves born after the 5th November 1874 were declared free, and all other slaves who wanted to free themselves from their dependent situations had to request a certificate of freedom from the English Colonial Administration. Many slaves left their masters after the Emancipation Ordinance of 1875 (Haenger, 2000:123-125) and the finds from the site suggest that the excavated area was occupied shortly before or shortly after the emancipation.

57The location of the plantation agrees well with the location of “Brockmang” on the British map of 1873. The plantation excavated by the writer is therefore probably the same as that known as Brockman or Brockmang. However, the finds from the excavations may not in anyway be related to Neils Brock after whom the site was named. That the plantation belonged to Brock is attested by the fact that it bears his name. It is also likely that he stayed on the plantation, if not permanently, for at least brief periods. Europeans appreciated plantations for the fresh air (Wulff, [1917] 2004:58) for which reason they also served as convalescent homes for the sick and as a rest resort. (Wulff, [1917] 2004:58; Adams, 1957:42). It is however strange that Wulff Joseph Wulff, a Danish Official at Christianborg who visited the nearby town of Brekuso in 1839 and the Frederiksgave plantation regularly in the 1830s and who in December 1837 visited De Forende Brødre, the plantation owned by Georg August Lutterodt (see Wulff, [1917] 2004:62,131-136,158,178) and which shared common boundaries with Brockman never mentioned Neils Brock, who because he acted as Danish Governor on three different occasions, must have been very popular. It may be that Neils Brock did not live long after the purchase of the plantation, and did not live on the plantation for a long time. Attempts are being made to find out the date of his death.

58The inhabitants of the site depended on bovid, birds, off-shore shell fish and land snails for food. The bones from the excavations are fragmentary and it was not possible to tell whether the bones of the bovids found in the excavations are those of domesticated animals or not. Livestock was raised on the Danish plantations (Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:39, 44, 50) and game such as deer, and other wild animals (see Wulff, [1917] 2004:114) abounded in the area of the plantation. It is not unreasonable that the inhabitants of the plantation depended both on domesticated and wild animals for food. The iron traps suggest that wild animals were trapped, presumably for food. Guns may have also been used for hunting.

59Europeans on the Gold Coast learned to eat African food. This was because European ships were reaching the coast at long intervals. Danish ships, for example, were reaching the coast only about once a year (Winsnes, 2004:6). Thus, needed provisions could not be relied upon and Europeans had to adapt to African food if they were to survive. Whoever lived in the plantation house, Danish or African, depended on edible shell-fish, land snail, Archatina achatina consumed in several areas of southern Ghana, and probably domesticated animals such sheep and goats. The nearby Frederiksgave plantation has produced bones of domesticated animals such as cattle, pig, sheep, and goat; wild animals such as cane-rat, the giant African rat, ground squirrel and royal antelope; shells of land snails such as Archatina achatina; and shell fish such as Arca senilis, Arca afra and Thais nodisa. Similar animals may have provided a good source of protein to the inhabitants of the plantation. The grinding stones also suggest a diet of grains and pulverized vegetable.

60Sherds of the locally-produced pottery, i.e., the pottery produced in Ghana, have been submitted to the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission for mineralogical analysis and the writer is awaiting the results. However, it can be said that the pottery is similar to sherds uncovered in the nearby Frederiksgave plantation. Among the vessels found at both Brockman and Frederiksgave are Akan type eating bowls (ayewaa) (Figs. 13a; 14e; Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:210, Figure 6.1) and bowls used for grinding vegetables (apotoyewaa) (Figs.13b and 15c; Bredwa-Mensah, 2002:214, Fig.6.4). Similar vessel forms have been found at the Krobo site of Ajikpo-Yokunya in the Eastern Region of Ghana, (Nimako; 2005:72-82, Fig.7), 60 km to the north-east of Brockman; at Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region, about 10 km to the north-east (Apoh, 2001:42-46), and at Wulff’s House at Osu, Accra, about 17km to the south-east (Bredwa-Mensah, 2000; 2002:226). Present-day potters of Shai, a non-Akan group, also make the Akan eating bowl which they call Akyemka meaning “ Akyem pot ”, Akyem being the name of a neighbouring Akan group (Quarcoo and Johnson, 1968:60, 76, 88, Figs. 6 and 35).

61Traditions collected from Ga potters of the Densu Valley, about 5 km to the south-west of Brockman, claim that the bowls used for grinding vegetable were copied from the Akan. Mineralogical analysis has also revealed that the locally manufactured pottery for the Frederiksgave Plantation was produced in the Densu Valley where the potters are Ga.

62Crossland (1989:52,81) has observed that in the Begho area, about 325 km to the north of Brockman, potters, in response to market demands, make a variety of wares for different communities, some of which are of different ethnic composition from the potters. A similar situation may have prevailed in the Accra Plains. It is probable that potting centres in Shai and the Densu Valley, taking advantage of the numerous Akan groups attracted to the Accra area by lucrative trade, copied Akan vessel forms and made pottery acceptable and marketable to the Akan communities. The Akan vessel forms are indicative of the heterogeneous nature of the population of the Accra Plains resulting from the movement of people including the Akan into the Accra area because of lucrative trade, not only in slaves, but also in commodities such as palm oil and gold.

63External trade with Europe is represented by the glazed pottery; liquor and perfume bottles; the cuprous button and finger ring; parts of firearms; the Bohemian bead; the drill and files; door hinges; enamel bowls; nails; the belt hook, and barrel brackets for bracing and strengthening wooden barrels probably used as containers for imported wine, or for exporting palm oil to Europe.

Conclusion

64The excavations at Brockman have produced evidence of occupation in the late 19th century, probably shortly before or shortly after the emancipation of slaves on the Gold Coast. While the finds from the plantation site have given a few clues about the life ways of the inhabitants of the plantation house, no trace has been found of the buildings of the enslaved Africans. It is hoped that future research would concentrate on the locating the African village for excavation and that such an excavation would provide finds for comparison with those from the stone plantation house.

I am grateful to Dr.Y.Bredwa-Mensah for taking me to the plantation site, and to Mr.BM.Murey for analyzing the bones and shells. I am also grateful to all the fifteen final year undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the excavations, and to Mr.J.T.Armah-Tagoe, Mr.AaronEshun for drawing the map and sections of the stratigraphy; and my son, Isaac, for drawing the locally-manufactured pottery, and illustrations; and to Dr.David Barker for his comments on the European glazed pottery. Special thanks go to Dr.M. K. Aliyu for spending several hours to scan all the illustrations and pictures in this paper. Finally, I am grateful to Mr.L.B.Crossland for his advice and guidance, suggestions and comments on the analysis of European ceramics.

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Bibliographie

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bredwa-mensah Y. (2000) - Archaeology at Frederichs Minde (Wullf’s Lodge), Christianborg, Osu, Ghana. Paper presented at the Society of Africanist Archaeologists’ Conference, Cambridge, England.

bredwa-mensah Y. (2002) - Historical – Archaeological Investigations at the Frederiksgave Plantation, Ghana: A Case Study of Slavery and Plantation Life on a Nineteenth Century Danish Plantation on the Gold Coast. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Ghana, Legon.

Christensen B. M. (1831) - Bermaerkninger Om de Danske Besiddelser I Guinea Den. Den Guineiske Komission II (1788) 1820-1847. Rigsarkivet, København. Cited in Bredwa-Mensah, Y. (2002) – Historical Archaeological Investigations at the Frederiksgave Plantation, Ghana: A Case Study of Slavery and Plantation Life on a Nineteenth Century Danish Plantation on the Gold Coast. Unpublished Ph.D. Theses, Department of Archaeology, University of Ghana, Legon.

Crossland L. B. (1989) - Pottery from Begho-B2 Site, Ghana. African Occasional Paper 4. The University of Calgary Press, Calgary.

DeCorse C. R. (1987) - Historical-Archaeological Research in Ghana. Nyame Akuma 29, p. 27-32.

DeCorse C. R. (1993) - The Danes on the Gold Coast: Culture Change and the European Presence. The African Archaeological Review, 1,1, p. 149-173.

DeCorse C. R. (2001) - An Archaeology of Elmina. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.

Dickson K. B. (1971) - A Historical Geography of Ghana. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Haenger P. (2000) - Slaves and Slave Holders on the Gold Coast: Towards an Understanding of Social Bondage in West Africa. (Eds) J. J. Shaffer and P. E. Lovejoy. P. Schlettwein Publishing, Switzerland.

Hume I. N. (1969) - Artifacts of Colonial America. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York.

Hunt C. B. (1970) - Dating of Mining Camps. Geotimes, vol. III, N8, p. 8-34.

Isert P. E. ([1788] 1992) - Letters on West Africa and the Slave Trade. Paul Erdmann Isert’s Journey to Guinea and the Carribean Islands in Columbia (1788). Translated from the German and edited by Selena Axelrod Winsnes. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Jeppesen Af H. (1996) - Danske Plantageanlaeg på Guldkeysten, 1778-1850. Geografisk Tidsskrift 65, p. 73-89. Cited in Bredwa-Mensah, Y. (2002) - Historical Archaeological Investigations at the Frederisksgave Plantation, Ghana: A Case Study of Slavery and Plantation Life on a Nineteenth Century Danish Plantation on the Gold Coast. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Ghana, Legon.

Kesse G. (1985) - The Mineral and Rock Resources of Ghana. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam and Boston.

Lorrain D. (1968) - An Archaeologist’s Guide to Nineteenth Century American Glass. Historical Archaeology, vol. 2, p. 28-35. The Society for Historical Archaeology.

McCall D. F. (1966) - Introduction. In Nørregård, G. (1966) - Danish Settlements in West Africa 1658-1850, p.xi-xxi. Translated from De Damske Etablissementer Paa Guineakeysten in Vore Gamle Tropekolonier by Sigurd Mammen. Boston University Press, Boston.

Nimako E. (2005) - Historical-Archaeological Investigation of Mount Mary-Training College and Adjikpo-Yokunya. Unpublished M.Phil Thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Ghana, Legon.

Nørregard G. ([1954] 1966) - Danish Settlements in West Africa, 1658-1850 Translated from De Danske Etablissementer Paa Guineakeysten in Vore Gamble Tropekolonier by Sigurd Mammen. Boston University Press, Boston.

Quarcoo A. K. and Johnson M. (1968) - Shai pots: The Pottery Industry of the Shai People of Southern Ghana. Baessler-Archiv, Neue Folge, Band XVI, p. 47-88.

Rathbone R. (1995) - The Gold Coast, the closing of the Atlantic Slave Trade, and Africans of the Diaspora in Slave Cultures and the Cultures of Slavery (Ed) Stephan Palmie, p. 55-66. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Reindorf C. C. ([1895] 1966) - History of the Gold Coast and Asante. The Richview Press, Dublin. Originally published in Basel in 1895.

Switzer R. R. (1974) - The Bertrand Bottles, A Study of 19th Century Glass and Ceramic Containers. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington.

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Winsnes S. A. (1992) - Wulff Joseph Wulff, 1809-1842: A Biographical Essay. Part 1 of A Danish Jew in Africa: Wulff Joseph Wulff, Biography and Letters, 1836-1842 being partly, a translation of Da Guinea Var Dansk, Wulff Joseph Wulff’s Letters by S.A. Winsnes, and partly an essay written by S.A. Winsnes.

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Annexes

Appendix 1: European sherds from Brockman

Type of pottery

Description of pottery

Quantity of sherds

Where found

Date of manufacture

Earthenware plates

With art-nouveau style moulded rim pattern and under-glaze painted decoration in blue. Need not be British but difficult to be sure. (? Possibly European). See Figs. 16 and 19

16

6 from the surface; 7 from Trench 1 Level 1; 3 from Trench 4 Level 1

Late 19th century

Earthenware plates

With under-glaze painted blue banded edge. See Figs. 17 and 20

5

All from Trench 2 Level 1

Becomes common from c.1860 onwards

Earthenware. Difficult to tell whether they are plates or not

Transfer-printed; in blue colour. See Fig.5.

4

2 from the surface; 2 from Trench 4 Level 1

c.1860-1870

Earthenware plates

With under-glaze transfer-printed decoration in light blue (floral pattern.) See Fig. 4.

15

1 from the surface; 2 from Trench 1 Level 1; 12 from Trench 2 Level 1

Late 19th century

Earthenware plate or soup plate

With under-glaze printed, leaf/floral decoration and under-glaze painted line to the rim. See Fig. 21.

2

1 from the surface; 1 from Trench 1 Level 1

Late 19th century

Earthenware plate rim

Moulded in a style reminiscent of late ‘ironstone china’. See Fig. 22

1

From Trench 2 Level 1

Probably c.1860-1870

Earthenware? vegetable dish or similar, or perhaps chamber pot cover, one with knob; and earthenware body sherd

With brown transfer-printed decoration, probably in aesthetic movement style, with additional painted decoration in red, turquoise and yellow.

3

1 from the surface; 2 from Trench 3 Level 1

C.1880-1890

Earthenware base sherd.

With transfer-printed maker’s mark in turquoise. See Fig. 23.

1

From Trench 1 Level 1

The use of ‘ENGLAND’ in the maker’s mark dates it to after 1891

Earthenware sherds (base, rim and?cover)

The rim sherd is that of a plate or pie dish; the base sherd may belong to a chamber pot basin or something similar; and one sherd is possibly a cover of a vegetable dish, tureen or something similar. See Fig. 24

3

1 from the surface; 1 from Trench 1 Level; 1 from Trench 3 Level 1

Late 19th century

Earthenware plate rim

With under-glaze transfer-printed decoration in brown. See Fig. 8

1

From the surface

Late 19th century Stylistically this is very late 19th century or early 20th century

Earthenware plate base

With impressed ‘3’. This is not a maker’s mark, but a size or other identification during production

1

From the surface

Late 19th century

Bone china cup or dish

With gilding to rim

3

1 from the surface; 2 from Trench 3 Level 1

Late 19th / early 20th century

German porcelain

Meissen. See Fig. 18

4

2 from the surface; 1 from Trench 2 Level 1; 1 from Trench 3 Level 1

Late 19th century

Earthenware, including what appears to be plate bases

With printed maker’s marks ‘GERMANY’ & ‘SANOXIA’. See Fig. 25.

8

3 from the surface; 5 from Trench 1 Level 1

The use of the ‘GERMANY’ mark suggests a post 1891 date for these sherds which are otherwise undiagnosed

Appendix 2: Analyis of shells from Brockman, by B.M. Murey

Excavated Unit

Level

Species/genus

Count

Remarks

Trench 1

1

Cypraea moneta

2

Lives in estuaries; Indian Ocean origin

Trench 1

1

Arcachatina

2

Land snail

Trench 2

1

Arcachatina

8

Land snail

Trench 3

2

Arcachatina

5

Land snail

Trench 3

2

Diplodonta diaphana

8

Off-shore species

Trench 4

1

Archatina achatina

1

Land snail

Trench 4

1

Diplodonta diaphana

1

Off-shore species

Appendix 3: Analysis of bones from Brockman, by B. M. Murey

Excavated Unit

Level

Element or Description

Count

Genus/species

Trench 1

1

Rib fragment

1

Bovida

Trench 1

1

Fibula fragment

1

Bovida

Trench 1

1

Ivory fragment

1

Proboscidea (elephant)

Trench 2

1

Skull

2

Bovida

Trench 2

1

Tooth

2

Bovida

Trench 2

1

Neural Spine

2

Bovida

Trench 2

1

llium

2

Bovida

Trench 2

1

Tibia

1

Bovida

Trench 2

1

Rib

1

Bovida

Trench 2

1

Scapula

1

Aves

Trench 2

1

Non-diagnosed

4

Unknown

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Notes

1 Hunt (1970:10-11) has observed that glasses with manganese impurities turn purple when exposed to sunlight for number of years, and Hume has observed that glasses that have turned purple in the United States are found on sites predating World War I. In other words, glasses with manganese turn purple when exposed to sunlight for over about 92 years. If this is true in Africa as it is in the United States, then the drinking glass in Brockman was deposited on the site before 1914.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1 - Map showing Brockman and other Danish plantations in Ghana
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Figure 2 - Brockman: Remnant of plantation building
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 472k
Titre Figure 3 - Fragment of a roofing sheet from the surface
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 316k
Titre Figures 4-7 - Finds of earthenware and porcelain sherds found on the surface of the site
Légende 4. Earthenware plate with under-glaze transfer -printed decoration, late 19th century; 5. Transfer-printed earthenware, c.1860-1890; 6. Earthenware with printed maker’s marks ‘GERMANY’ & ‘SAXONIA’, post 1891; 7. German porcelain of the late 19th century (surface find)
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1004k
Titre Figure 8 - Brockman: Hypothetical reconstruction of plantation building
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 200k
Titre Figure 9 - Brockman: Plan of excavations and remnants of plantation building
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 324k
Titre Figure 10 - Brockman: Sections of north-west wall of Trench 1 and south-east wall of Trench 2
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 224k
Titre Figure 11 - Brockman: Section of north-west wall of Trench 3
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 268k
Titre Figures 12 and 13 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from the surface
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-9.jpg
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Titre Figures 14 and 15 - Brockman: locally-manufactured pottery from excavations
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-10.jpg
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Titre Figures 16 to 25 - European glazed pottery recovered from excavation
Légende 16. Earthenware plate, moulded rim patterns and under-glaze painted decoration, late 19th century; 17. Earthenware plate, under-glaze, blue banded edge common from about 1860 (excavated); 18. German plate (Meissen) of the late 19th century; 19. Earthenware, transfer-printed decoration, C. 1862-1870; 20. Earthenware plate, under-glaze transfer-printed, floral pattern; 21. Earthenware plate or soup plate, under-glaze printed leaf/floral decoration and under-glaze painted line to the rim, late19th century; 22. Earthenware plate, rim moulded in style reminiscent of late ‘ironstone china’, C.1860-1870; 23. Earthenware base, transfer-printed maker’s mark in turquoise, dates after 1891; 24. Eartenware rim, late 19th century; 25. Earthenware plate base with maker’s marks ‘germany’ & ‘saxonia’, post1891
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-11.jpg
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Titre Figures 26 to 34: Bottles and fragments of bottles recovered from excavation
Légende 26. Broken lemonade bottle; 27. Beer bottle, probably early 20th century; 28. Medicine bottle, probably early 20th century; 29. Beer bottle, probably early 20th century; 30. (From left) Perfume bottle with inscription ‘pc’ on the lid, medicine bottle and perfume bottle with seam line from shoulder to entire body; 31. Schnapps bottle, late 19th to early 20th century; 32. Perfume bottle with seam line from shoulder to entire body; 33. Lemonade bottle with a metal clamp; 34. Schnapps bottle with a stork brand and the mark ‘i.a.i.nolet’
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-12.jpg
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Titre Figure 35 - A brown Carnelian and a blue faceted bead
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-13.jpg
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Titre Figure 36 - Base of a cuprous bowl
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-14.jpg
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Titre Figure 37 - (From top) a hinge, a latch and a knife blade
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-15.jpg
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Titre Figure 38 - Locks and keys
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-16.jpg
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Titre Figure 39 - Screws and nails
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-17.jpg
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Titre Figure 40 – Nails
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-18.jpg
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Titre Figure 41 - A door hinge
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-19.jpg
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Titre Figure 42 - Barrel bracket, chisels, drill and cutlass blade
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-20.jpg
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Titre Figure 43 - Rim and handle of a bucket
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-21.jpg
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Titre Figure 44 - Enamel bowls
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-22.jpg
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Titre Figure 45 - A ladle
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-23.jpg
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Titre Figure 46 - Hoe blade
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-24.jpg
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Titre Figure 47 - Hoe blade
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-25.jpg
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Titre Figure 48 - Axe blade
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-26.jpg
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Titre Figure 49 - Parts of trap, chisels and a file
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-27.jpg
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Titre Figure 50 - Iron object, probably a blacksmith’s tool
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-28.jpg
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Titre Figure 51 - Cutlass and knife blades
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-29.jpg
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Titre Figure 52 - Parts of an iron trap
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-30.jpg
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Titre Figure 53 - Nails and screws
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-31.jpg
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Titre Figure 54 - Belt hook
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-32.jpg
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Titre Figure 55 - Parts of firearms
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-33.jpg
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Titre Figure 56 - Butt plate of a gun
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-34.jpg
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Titre Figure 57 - Barrel brackets
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-35.jpg
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Titre Figure 58 – Grindstones
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-36.jpg
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Titre Figure 59 - A piece of ivory
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-37.jpg
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Titre Figure 60 - Iron pulley
URL http://aaa.revues.org/docannexe/image/857/img-38.jpg
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

James Boachie-Ansah, « Archaeological investigation at the Danish plantation site of Brockman, Ghana », Afrique : Archéologie & Arts, 5 | 2009, 149-172.

Référence électronique

James Boachie-Ansah, « Archaeological investigation at the Danish plantation site of Brockman, Ghana », Afrique : Archéologie & Arts [En ligne], 5 | 2007-2009, mis en ligne le 15 juillet 2016, consulté le 17 août 2017. URL : http://aaa.revues.org/857

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Auteur

James Boachie-Ansah

Associate Professor
Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies
University of Ghana
P.O. Box LG 3
Legon, Accra
Ghana
jbansah@yahoo.com

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Droits d’auteur

CNRS - ArScAn. Cartographie d’après www.geoatlas.fr

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