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Conferencia - Las Sociedades Precolombinas y el Encuentro de Culturas de 1492

On the 13th of October the opening ceremony for the exhibition 'Tesoros del Arte Taíno' took place at the Centro León in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Prof. Dr. Corinne Hofman, dean of the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University, took part in the ceremony and gave a lecture on Precolumbian societies and the encounter of cultures in 1492.

New Approaches and Perspectives

Prof. Dr. Hofman's lecture focussed on the new approaches and perspectives on archaeological studies in the Dominican Republic, as a result of the Nexus 1492 project. 

"At the time of contact with the Europeans, a mosaic of culturally diverse island societies had been developed which were connected by extensive networks of human mobility and exchange of goods and ideas," said Hofman. Prof. Dr. Hofman has been involved in archaeological studies in the Dominican Republic for the last 12 years, the last four as part of Nexus 1492.

Hofman explains that archaeological investigations at the sites of El Flaco and El Carril (south of the Cordillera de Septentrional, northwest Dominican Republic) have shown that the indigenous occupants of these settlements on the eve of the encounter with Europeans deliberately manipulated and organised the environment to create and adequate space for the living and the dead.

The primary objective of Nexus1492 is to generate a different perspective from the traditional views on the European colonisation of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and the Americas in general. It also highlights the intercultural dynamics established between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans. 

Prof. Dr. Corinne Hofman presents at the opening ceremony for the exhibition 'Tesoros del Arte Taíno'

Collaboration Agreement

On this occassion The Centro León and Leiden University signed a collaboration agreement in which both institutions commit to enriching Dominican archaeological and ethnographical studies. 

The agreement was signed by Prof. Dr. Corinne Hofman and Dr. María Amalia León de Jorge, general director of the Eduardo León Jimenes Foundation, and María Luisa Asilis de Matos, executive manager of the Centro León. 

This agreement provides the opportunity for specialists designated by the University of Leiden to study the archaeological and ethnographical collections of the Centro León.

It also establishes the preparation of exhibition projects and specialised publications based on specific studies carried out by the institutions. In particular this includes an International Congress of Archaeology and an archaeological exhibition related to the Nexus 1492 project, which will be hosted at the Centro León. 

The Centro León will also provide advisory services in museography and exhibtion management to Leiden University, especially in the museum project installed by Nexus 1492 in the community of Guayacanes.

Furthermore, the agreement enables inter-institutional exchange of libraries and publications to facilitate dialogue between specialists. 

Signing of the agreement between Centro León and Leiden University (left to right) María Luisa Asilis de Matos, María Amalia León de Jorge and Corinne Hofman

Broadcast of the conference at Centro León

'Tesoros del Arte Taíno' will remain open to the public until the 18th of March 2018 at the Centro León in Santiago.