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Congratulations Gene Shev!

Congratulations to Gene Shev who has received the grant for a NWO PhD in the Humanities! Gene is currently finishing his Research Master thesis, which focuses on unravelling the entanglement of human-dog relationships at the pre-colonial sites of El Flaco and El Carril through isotopic studies of dog bone material. He will start his PhD in September 2018 at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University under the supervision of Jason Laffoon and Corinne Hofman. Read the abstract of his PhD research proposal below!

PhD Proposal Abstract

The arrival of Columbus in 1492 not only marks the birth of European colonialism and imperialism in the ‘New World’ but also precipitated the dramatic transformation of native American ecologies and the eradication of indigenous cultural lifeways. An examination of Amerindian environmental practices at the advent of European arrival, as manifest in their husbandry of animals, will provide archaeological precedents of indigenous lifeways prior to the destructive effects of culture-contact scenarios. Current interpretative paradigms suggest that the indigenous peoples of the insular Caribbean region did not practice animal husbandry. This supposition is educated by early ethnocentric historical accounts denoting the primitiveness of indigenous peoples, recent ethnological theories informed by Amazonian ethnographic research, and reinforced by a lacuna of material archaeological evidence. This multi-disciplinary project will combine archaeological investigation, archaeozoology, ethnological theory, and stable isotope ratio analysis of animal palaeodiets to elucidate the complexity of indigenous peoples’ relationships with animals. These techniques will be employed to examine animal remains from three late pre-colonial sites in the Dominican Republic that were occupied at the eve of European arrival in the Americas; El Carril, El Flaco, and El Cabo. This research provides empirical evidence of complex pre-colonial environmental management practices, therefore promoting the polyglot identities of indigenous peoples via the illumination of important aspects of their heritage and traditional lifeways.

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