African-American Households from
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Material culture from African-American families was found at several archeological sites. These sites range from small, middling, and large plantations which used slave labor, to free African-American farmsteads. Many of these sites produced artifacts such as ceramics made by African-Americans called colonoware, gaming pieces from a traditional African game, and material, such as blue beads, that may reflect the practice of African religious beliefs. These items reflect the continuity of an African identity. Studying the artifacts and different social histories of two free African-American sites, the Nash and Robinson House sites, provides evidence that the African-American community included diverse families who used different methods for defining their identity in this area of Virginia. This evidence is manifested by the purchase of mass produced items and retaining aspects of an African heritage.