Secret Exchange: Alternative Economies of Presidios Santa Maria de Galve and Isla de Santa Rosa

Amanda Dawn Roberts

          Spain enacted strict trade regulations within its colonial territories. Regulations prohibited Spaniards from trading with non-Spanish individuals. Occupants of settlements were expected to exist off supplies from the Spanish formal economy. However, historical documents suggest that the erratic formal economy was inadequate and spurred individuals to participate in alternative exchange networks through open and clandestine contraband trade to support their economic interests. I used two data sets, historical documents and refuse pit features to evaluate alternative economies at Presidios Santa María de Galve and Isla de Santa Rosa. I applied an intra- and inter- site comparison to reveal economic decision making in relation to areas within the fort and outside of the fort walls. I used diversity and evenness statistics to determine variation in archaeological deposits. The results indicate differences in diversity according to areas within and outside the fort at Santa María and Santa Rosa. This thesis suggests that the physical space and architecture of the fort walls, to some extent, structured the alternative economy. I conclude that alternative economies substituted and complemented the formal economy of Spain.