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Starchy Foodways: Surveying Indigenous Peoples’ culinary practices prior to the advent of European invasions in the Greater Caribbean.

  • Defense - Andy Ciofalo
Monday 16 November 2020
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Senate Chamber
a remote area of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands (photo: Andy Ciofalo).

Research Abstract

The foodways approach to archaeobotanical investigation used in this dissertation reconstructs lost and forgotten lifeways. In this research, microbotanical residues (starches) were recovered from different types of kitchen tool artifacts excavated from three geographic regions: the northwestern Dominican Republic, the Bahama archipelago, and central Nicaragua. This dissertation paints a dynamically diverse picture of Indigenous Caribbean Peoples’ culinary practices, which involved exogenous plant translocations and some poisonous plant manipulation to produce edible meals. This work creates a more refined insight into how starchy culinary practices varied in the Greater Caribbean prior to the advent of European invasions.

A wild chili pepper plant (photo: Andy Ciofalo).
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