Universiteit Leiden

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Marlena Antczak


Dr. M.M. Antczak
+31 71 527 2727

Dr. Maria Magdalena Antczak is an archaeologist and anthropologist. She received her Ph.D. in Prehistoric Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (2000), studied ethnography at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan and anthropology at the Central University of Venezuela. Currently she is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, co-founder and co-director (with Dr. A. Antczak) of the Archaeology Research Unit at the same university. In 1982, together with Dr. Andrzej Antczak, she created and co-directed the project Archaeology of the Islands of Venezuela, and since then has carried out pioneering archaeological investigations on more than 60 offshore islands of the Venezuelan Caribbean. Since 2006 she also conducted research (together with Dr. A. Antczak) on the small islands off the eastern coast of Martinique. Her scholarly interests include (re)construction of past social realities both in pre-Hispanic north-central Venezuela (island-mainland relations) and method and theory of meaning attribution and signifying practices applied to the study of representational material culture (especially within the pre-Hispanic Sphere of Interaction in north-central Venezuela), using approaches of cognitive, symbolic and contextual archaeology. Related interests: figurine studies, anthropology and archaeology of art, pre-Hispanic symbolism, Queen Conch symbolism in the Caribbean, ceramic and provenance studies, public and community archaeology. 

She is an author of dozens of articles published in international journals, chapters in books and co-author of achaeological exhibitions and films. Recently, co-authored (with Dr. A. Antczak) the monographs  Idolos de las Islas Prometidas: Arqueología Prehispánica del Archipiélago de Los Roques (Editorial Equinoccio 2006),  Los Mensajes Confiadas a Las Rocas (2007) and  Their World in Clay: The Art of Pre-Hispanic Venezuela, in  Ancient American Art 3500 BC-AD 1532: Masterworks of the Pre-Columbian Era (5 Continents Editions 2011).


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Moderne beeldende kunst

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number B2.01




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