The inspiration and much of the website infrastructure for CMAP stems from the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS; daacs.org), developed by archaeologists with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, Virginia. DAACS was established in 2000 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a comparative database of archaeological data related to slavery in the Atlantic World. This web-based initiative has since grown to encompass numerous sites through the Chesapeake region, the southeastern United States, and the Caribbean.
In 2016 archaeologists with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), University of Florida, received a National Endowment and Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to develop CMAP (PW-234762-16). The original vision for CMAP was to create a comparative database of Franciscan mission sites. Historical archaeologists at the FLMNH have a long history of conducting research on such sites and the Museum is a repository for a number of mission site collections. The NEH project was initiated with two FLMNH mission collections (the Baptizing Spring and Fox Pond sites) and one held by the state’s Bureau of Archaeological Research (the Fig Springs site).
Recognizing the complex history of the missioning experience in the Americas, CMAP will eventually include archaeological collections from Protestant missions as well as Catholic ones. This focus recognizes that, over the long-term, many Native American and African groups were subject to multiple missionizing experiences.
Those unfamiliar with the DAACS system will benefit from perusing the “About the Database” (see banner at top of this webpage). This will lead to manuals and guidelines that explain the structure of the database and how to explore its contents.