Jaime Pagan Jimenez
In October 2015, Dr. Pagán-Jiménez was appointed to serve as a Senior Researcher in paleoethnobotany and Caribbean archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, within the ERC synergy project Nexus 1492. He is currently performing paleoethnobotanical studies at various Caribbean archaeological sites through the study of ancient starches and phytoliths retrieved from processing, cooking, serving and “chewing” tools, and from archaeological soils and environmental sediments as well. An interesting set of theoretical constructs derived from human behavioral ecology, experiential philosophy and phenomenology integrates the heuristic approach to ancient foodways employed by Pagán-Jiménez.
The mentioned methods, together with the different contextual scales and theoretical scenarios under scrutiny, forms the foundations of Pagán-Jiménez' research within Nexus 1492. The aim of this effort is t o expose and acknowledge the poorly unknown contributions of Caribbean's Amerindian societies to history's most dramatic food shift.
Jaime R. Pagán-Jiménez holds a Doctorate in Anthropology (2005) with special emphasis on archaeology and palaeoethnobotany from the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). His doctoral dissertation has received the Alfonso Caso Medal to University Merit, 2005, the highest university level prize given in an individual basis to the most distinguished student and the best doctoral dissertation from all branches of anthropology, including archaeology.
Dr. Pagán-Jiménez has more than 25 years of experience in Caribbean archaeology and has undertaken fieldwork or analyzed microbotanical materials from numerous sites on the islands of Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Hispaniola (among others), as well as on Belize, French Guiana and Venezuela. He has also been adjunct professor and professor of Caribbean Archaeology and Neotropical Paleoethnobotany at Universidad de Puerto Rico, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe and Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (Ecuador). Pagán-Jiménez has been involved in research collaborations with Leiden University, University College London (UK), Universidad de Puerto Rico, Universidad de la Habana (Cuba), Institut National de Recherches Archeologiques Préventives and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (both from France), and with the Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural (INPC-Ecuador).
In Ecuador, being first a Junior and later a Senior Researcher between 2012 to 2015, Dr. Pagán-Jiménez coordinated an extensive paleoethnobotanical research program of the INPC through the whole country for which more than 20 archaeological sites (from the coast, the Andean Range and Amazonia), were studied. His archaeological and paleoethnobotanical research was focused in some late Pleistocene and early to mid-Holocene sites from the highlands, and in several sites ascribed to Valdivia, Chorrera and Jambelí cultures from Isla Puná in the Pacific Ocean.