As a visualisation expert in a project focused on Caribbean archaeology, a significant part of my work consists of making maps. They might be maps of one excavation area, an entire island, or a larger region. They might show ceramic assemblages, settlement patterns, or cultural heritage. They might be used to visually explore a dataset and uncover new patterns, to communicate established results in a scientific publication, or to inform the general public about ongoing work. The one thing they all have in common is that they represent geo-referenced data (information associated with specific locations).
As archaeologists, we attempt to understand the choices and movements made by people in the past. One method used to do this is the study of the objects people left behind. We can study the pots, bowls, and other objects made of ceramic and use these to reconstruct past behaviour. Ceramic pots are a brilliant resource for achieving this aim because everyone used them. Indigenous communities on the islands made and used ceramic objects before and after the contact period. We can study these materials to determine the changes that occurred over time, and begin to understand the influence of various cultural interactions.
In the Montecristi Province most of people reject or ignore the presence of the indigenous populations and even Africans on the region, these indigenous landscapes have become invisible for most of the current population. The relation to any of these groups is underestimated and criticised or in the best case it is romanticised. Besides historical reasons, this is also due to a deficient in education on the history before Columbus, and the lack of relations to a previous pre-colonial period and its cultural, economic and political contexts.
NEXUS1492 is presenting a paper at the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting (16-20 November 2016) in Minneapolis, USA this week. The paper on Caribbean Encounters, Material Engagements and the Making of Europe, is part of a session about Evidence and its Effects in the Archaeology of Colonialism.
From 8 to 10 November, NEXUS1492 researchers met and participated in workshops and hackathons to further collaborations between project partners. Over the span of 2 days, several parallel small-group sessions were organized, where the 20 participants developed ideas and plans for transdisciplinary collaboration within the NEXUS programme. On the second day, a public lecture by archaeologist dr. Stefan Hauser was hosted by Konstanz University. Prof. Dr. Hauser discussed Trading in Palmyra: Past, Present and Future.
Last Friday 4th November, the annual History Day organized by ICLON took place in the Museum of Ethnology, Leiden where Dutch history teachers came together to participate in a full day of lectures and workshops. The theme for this year was Europeans from overseas – contacts – representation.
On Monday 17 October 2016, the Faculty of Archaeology hosted the international symposium “Collecting the 19th century: archaeological and museological perspectives from Europe and Latin America”, organized by dr. Mariana de Campos Françozo (Leiden University) and Maria Patricia Ordoñez (Leiden University).
In the framework of the MOU between the National Archaeological Museum Aruba and ERC Synergy NEXUS1492, new explorative research is being conducted on the Santa Cruz 35 site.
Tourism Corporation Bonaire and NEXUS1492 are launching the working conference Coastal Dynamics and Ecosystem Change during a public event. The conference, which takes place from 18 to 21 October at the Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire, brings together key experts from around the globe to move forward the agenda of sustainable coastal development in the wider Caribbean Region.
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.