The Hera Carib project studies how people lived in the Lesser Antilles. In this short video, our colleagues from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven talk about the life of cycle ceramics: what material they are made of, how and for what purpose they are made.
This August, the ERC-Synergy NEXUS 1492 Project and the “Museo Arqueológico Regional Altos de Chavón” have come together again to provide the school community of Valverde (13th and 14th) and Montecristi (19th and 20th) with the opportunity to participate in workshops on archaeological indigenous heritage, teaching and learning strategies for teachers of primary and secondary school levels.
Ever since the first colonization of the Caribbean islands 6000 years ago, rocks or “lithics” as we call them were used to manufacture a wide range of objects. These ranged from special and likely highly valued objects like figurines, ritual items and jewellery to more utilitarian items like axes, hammerstones and other tools. Throughout pre-colonial times a high diversity of lithics were utilised within the Caribbean islands, which ranged from rocks formed in volcanoes or those laid down as sediments in ancient lakes and seas to metamorphic rocks that had been subjected to heat and pressure in the ancient past, such as the jadeitite in figure 1.
From the 15th of May until the 15th of July 2015, a third fieldwork campaign takes place at the site El Flaco, located at the foot of the Cordillera Septentrional in the Valverde Region in the north-western Dominican Republic. An international group of more than 25 researchers, students, and local community members will spend the next two months excavating, analysing and processing data and materials.
Ancient DNA is like ice cream – it does not last well in the sun. Therefore, most ancient DNA studies to date have been conducted on samples from cold or temperate environments.
After experiencing first-hand the diverse heritage and personal connections to different areas of St. Kitts, Habiba and I were left wondering if all this plethora of knowledge was going to be passed down to future generations? Through a lucky encounter, we were put in touch with Marlene Philips from the Department of Culture. The collaboration became evident. There was a need at the Department of Culture to build the local arts industries, as well as engage with communities on heritage and identity. Through this key partnership, we have worked for the past 9 months on developing and deploying a crowd sourcing website that we are extremely happy to announce is public: www.culturesnaps.kn.
Isotopes have been used to trace the provenance of humans long before the Nexus1492 project came into being. The first archaeological application of strontium isotope analysis on human remains appeared during the mid-1980’s (Ericson 1985) and demonstrated the potential of isotope analyses as a tool to study the geographical origins of humans. Ever since, the archaeological studies employing isotope analysis have been multiplying. The forensic application of isotope analysis for human provenancing followed much later: see “The Adam case” (O’Reilly 2007), “The Scissors sisters case” (Meier-Augenstein and Fraser 2008), “The NN case” (Font et al. 2015). These studies use isotope analysis in bone, teeth and hair of unidentified deceased individuals in order to shed light on their geographical place of residence.
In February 2015 a 7 month fieldwork period started at the coast of the Montecristi province.
The Caribbean is frequently described as a region of diversity and multiplicity, where peoples, histories, and traditions intertwine. After having spent three weeks visiting museums and collections in Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, I would like to add another item to the list: The diversity of museums.
In the Dominican Republic, the official directory of the Museums Association of the Caribbean has listed 48 museums. There are many more throughout the island, and together with fellow NEXUS team members Csilla Ariese and Arlene Alvarez I have had the chance to visit many of them. In Santo Domingo alone, from the monumental national public museums at the Plaza de la Cultura – such as the Museo del Hombre Dominicano – to the newly opened Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana at the otherwise tourist-oriented Zona Colonial, there is something for every taste, a broad range of possibilities for everyone who is interest in the archaeology, history, arts, and cultures of this Caribbean island.
A short video documents and explains the different tasks performed to excavate of an Amerindian settlement in the northern Dominican Republic, from the actual excavation to documenting the finds and reaching out to the people of Cruce de Guayacanes.