Potential Early Connections Between the Greater Antilles and Lower Central America in the Light of Toponomastic Analysis
Author(s): Ivan Roksandic
This presentation looks at the paterns of interaction in the Western Caribbean at the time of early migrations onto the islands, with a special focus on the potential long-distance connection between Lower Central America and the Greater Antilles indicated by several important observations: a recent comparative study of ancient DNA from the pre-contact site of Canímar Abajo in western Cuba; circulation of some plant species (e.g., pollo maize; Zamia); the practice of dental modification on skeletal remains from Canímar Abajo, previously not identified among Pre-Columbian Caribbean groups; and a recent bathymetric reconstruction indicating that the sea levels in the period from 8000-4000 BP were 5-8 meters lower than today exposing a number of small islands over the Nicaraguan Rise. In that context, toponomastic analysis of several groups of place names from western Cuba, commonly interpreted as either Island Arawak or Warao, shows that they actually display recurrent morphophonological structures similar to Chibchan languages spoken in Lower Central America and Colombia.
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Potential Early Connections Between the Greater Antilles and Lower Central America in the Light of Toponomastic Analysis. Ivan Roksandic. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403653)
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