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Leiden University Hosts the Closing Symposium of the HERA-CARIB Project

On 26 and 27 September 2016, the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University hosted the closing symposium of the HERA-CARIB project “Caribbean Connections: Cultural encounters in a New World setting”. Over 50 participants came together to share results, projects and future research directions on the impacts of cultural encounters between Amerindians Europeans and Africans. Speakers included HERA-CARIB collaborators and members of the Kalinago communities in St. Vincent and Dominica, as well as representatives of the indigenous communities in Suriname.

The HERA-CARIB Project

The two-day meeting concludes three years of research in the Caribbean and Europe. During the meeting, participants discussed topics around indigenous places and their histories, Caribbean heritage in local and European museums, threats to heritage and indigenous Caribbean awareness in Europe. The full program of the symposium can be found here.

The primary aim of the HERA-CARIB project was to understand the impacts of cultural encounters on Lesser Antillean indigenous Carib societies by studying transformations in settlement pattern and organisation, material culture, and network strategies across the historical divide. The transnational, multi-disciplinary team, combining archaeology, history, archaeometry, and social network studies is uniquely positioned to provide new insights into these transformations throughout the process of colonization.

The multidisciplinary approach will advance novel perspectives to the study of intercultural dynamics in colonial encounter situations worldwide and will contribute to discussions of indigenous resistance, cultural transformations, and cultural diversity in an ever globalizing world.

On a local Caribbean level, the project has sought to contribute to the historical awareness and valorisation of cultural heritage in a geopolitically diverse region, with an archaeological record that is under threat from natural disasters and infrastructural development.

The trans-national collaboration to study cultural encounters between the Old and New Worlds is funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), and led by Leiden University (Professor C.L.Hofman), Leuven University (Professor P. Degryse), and Konstanz University (Professor U. Brandes).

More information can be found on the CARIB (HERA JRP) website.

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