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Archaeology at La IsabelaAmerica's First European Town$
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Kathleen Deagan and Jose Maria Cruxent

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300090413

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300090413.001.0001

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Artisans and Craftsmen at La Isabela

Artisans and Craftsmen at La Isabela

(p.247) 10 Artisans and Craftsmen at La Isabela
Archaeology at La Isabela

Kathleen Deagan

José María Cruxent

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses artisans and craftsmen at La Isabela. Representatives of all the essential trades accompanied the expedition to La Isabela, including stonemasons, lime and charcoal burners, carpenters, builders, blacksmiths, metallurgists, potters, and shipbuilders. Metal tools used for the various trades practiced at La Isabela are rare, in part because of the extremely poor conditions for iron preservation at the site, which include the unstable moisture content and high salinity of the beachside soils. Most of the tools were found in the alhóndiga area or in the laguna refuse-disposal area to the north of the site. Blacksmiths were essential to the isolated colony, producing and repairing needed tools, fasteners, and implements. Fragments of wrought-iron bars have been found in the vicinity of the alhóndiga, but iron slag or bloom fragments are noticeably absent.

Keywords:   La Isabela, artisan, craftsmen, iron, expedition

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