As part of ‘NEXUS 1492’, a European Research Council funded “Synergy” project we aim to assess the impact of Caribbean colonisation on the indigenous (material) culture. Inter-Islands exchange networks present before and after the arrival of Columbus form an important focus of research within NEXUS 1492. Studies of lithic artefacts such as tools and beads play a key role in this respect as they provide essential information of the entire process of collection of raw materials, production of the artefacts, use of the artefacts, and distribution and trade by the pre-colonial communities.
This week, on the 5th of December it is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, which makes this an excellent opportunity to talk a little about what Sinterklaas, Christmas, birthdays and the first encounters in the Caribbean between indigenous people and Europeans have in common? The central importance of gift giving.
Welcome to the first in a new series of blogs from the research team that is re-writing the history of both the New and Old World by looking at the impact of the colonial encounters between Amerindians, Africans and Europeans in the Caribbean. The Nexus 1492, CARIB-HERA and Island Networks projects have been underway for more than one year and we feel it is high time for us to reach out to you, our public on both sides of the Atlantic.
On 3 and 4 August, 2016, the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) hosted an archaeology seminar, titled: Arqueología, Antropología E Historia Del Primer Encuentro Colonial En Las Américas, at the INTEC library in the Dominican Republic.
On Tuesday the 25th of November Professor Corinne Hofman of Leiden University and the Minister of culture Sr. Otmar Oduber signed an MOU agreeing scientific and cultural cooperation as part of the ‘NEXUS 1492 ‘ project.
The site of Anse trabaud is located in Sainte Anne, in the south of the island of Martinique. The site is situated in, what is now, a mangrove area right near the coast and a salt pan. The site was discovered in 1976 by Henry Petitjean Roget and José Cruxent. Several researches studied the site and the area but it was not until 2001, when ceramics recovered from the site were studied, that an estimation of the period of habitation could be made. The ceramics were congruent with ceramics from the Troumassoid and the Suazoid series, estimated to date from AD 850 to 1450.
The site itself is very interesting, especially because of the location of its occupation. The area is very arid, and due to its proximity to the coast as well as the salinity of the soil, fresh water resources were most likely scarce. The salinity of the soil would have made it difficult to practice agriculture on the site as well; overall little is known about how food was provided by communities living in the area.
Last summer we performed a lot of experimental archaeology in El Flaco. Why? Well, you may have heard that many ornaments are being found at the site. The goal of the experiments was to shed light on the techniques and toolkits used in their production. In this post, I explain a bit about my PhD research and how the experiments have an important role in it.