Inter- and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Archaeological Research in the Caribbean

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

The main objective of this symposium is to bring together researchers who study topics related to Caribbean archaeology from inter and multidisciplinary approaches. These approaches not only allow the incorporation of a wide variety of sources of information and/or methodologies but also foster the revision of previous interpretations. Some of the questions that need to be posed are: To what extent are auxiliary disciplines helping to expand the construction of the stories being created by archaeologists? How can we use archaeological data in a way that the general public can relate to the research being carried out? Through case studies that employ methodologies that borrow from documentary archaeology, collections management and hard science, this symposium will explore the possibilities of broadening the interpretations of our understanding of past human activities within the Caribbean region. Likewise, it makes it possible to revisit existing collections and expand traditional research questions. In this symposium, we want to bring forward the efforts being made to creatively use existing sources and methods in the development of new research projects in the Caribbean.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-7 of 7)

  • Documents (7)

  • Ancient DNA Studies in Tropical Environments: A Study into the Genetics of the Pre-Columbian Indigenous Population of Puerto Rico (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ash Matchett.

    Studies into ancient DNA have advanced significantly in the last few years, but these have largely been absent in tropical environments. In the Caribbean, a number of questions still pertain as to the bioarchaeology of the indigenous pre-Columbian populations and the exact origin of these early inhabitants. Focusing on the skeletal remains of a late Saladoid population from Punta Candelero site (AD 640-1200), three correlated and simultaneous studies have been coordinated with the aim to...

  • Constructing Stories from Archaeological Evidence and Documentary Sources (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paola Schiappacasse.

    The archaeological collections crisis we have been facing for the last couple of decades has forced many of us to rethink how to conduct research without adding to the problem. Although the idea that you need to excavate in order to do "archaeology" still permeates the opinions in academia, we have been seeing more research projects that revisit archaeological collections. Therefore, how can we make archaeology students aware of other research possibilities? The archaeological excavations...

  • Cookbooks as Documentary Sources: The Material Culture of Kitchens and Tables from 19th-Century Puerto Rican Households (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lyrsa María Torres-Vélez.

    Puerto Rico’s culinary history is characterized by a blend of the different ethnicities that settled in the island after the Spanish Conquest, as well as the incorporation of pre-Columbian food ways. This ethnogenesis can be studied through the culinary traditions that conform what we now refer to as criollo. This presentation uses El Cocinero Puerto-Riqueño, the only cookbook available from the 19th century in Puerto Rico, as a primary source to address the material culture associated to...

  • Engendering Ballajá: A 1910 Case Study from San Juan, Puerto Rico (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yuitza Rojas Fernández.

    In the northwest corner of the capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, formal urban blocks were proposed and constructed in the 19th century in an area known as Ballajá. As part of a larger investigation, documentary research was carried out, and quantitative and qualitative data was analyzed to study the presence of women using the 1910 census. Germane to that investigation, were specific variables such as professions, trades, race, nationality, age and civil status, therefore providing...

  • Island Hopper: Theodoor de Booy and Archaeology in the Caribbean (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only L. Antonio Curet.

    Like many other regions, the colonial experience in the Caribbean included the arrival of foreign archaeologists, mostly from the United States or Europe representing museums, universities, or scientific academies forming what has been called ‘imperial science.’ The objects, specimens, and archival documentation gathered during their research were taken back to their countries and today form part of major collections in museums throughout the world. Theodoor deBooy of the Museum of the American...

  • The Jácanas Archaeological Collection: Laying Down the Facts (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gelenia Trinidad-Rivera.

    While researching an archaeological collection, it is important to trace its history in terms of its origins, what makes up the collection, where it is located, and who is responsible for it. Jácanas, a pre-Columbian site in Ponce, Puerto Ric,o was excavated during the first decade of the 21st century. The fieldwork was carried out by a non-local cultural resources management company under contract with the United States Corps of Engineers (USCE). Among the many concerns expressed by local...

  • Reconstructing Household Units Using Census Data and Plans (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ramón Ocasio Negrón.

    This paper will present the benefits and limitations of incorporating census data in the analysis of household units in San Juan, Puerto Rico to archaeological investigations. The objective of this research is to study part of the population that resided in four streets, located west of the Cathedral in the capital of San Juan during 1910. The Cathedral Ward was selected with the understanding that the area was associated to elite residents since the 16th century. Specifically, this research is...