Lucayan Connections: Core and Periphery in the Bahama/Turks and Caicos Archipelago


Of the many islands of the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos—together comprising the Lucayan archipelago—were settled relatively late, seeing seasonal to permanent occupation from ca. AD 600 to 1000. A uniquely Lucayan material culture quickly emerged, from Palmetto ceramics to a distinctive style of wood carving (i.e., duhos/ceremonial seats). While rich in many resources, the Bahamas/TCI are strictly limited in others, notably the absence of hard stone in a purely limestone environment. Imports of lithic materials from the larger islands were important for day-to-day activities and eventually may have come to act as status and prestige markers. This paper introduces project SIBA (Stone Interchanges within the Bahama Archipelago), a new study focusing on Lucayan stone exotics, and how they reflect networks connecting the Lucayan archipelago to the neighbouring Greater Antilles (e.g., Hispaniola, Cuba). Travel costs are explored using a preliminary GIS-based seascape model, which seeks to provide an independent baseline for the most probable inter-island connections, both within the archipelago and between it and the larger islands. The position taken here places the Lucayan archipelago as the core, with peripheral socioeconomic/political connections to the larger adjacent islands.

Cite this Record

Lucayan Connections: Core and Periphery in the Bahama/Turks and Caicos Archipelago. Joanna Ostapkowicz, Emma Slayton, John Pouncett, Alice Knaf, Gareth Davies. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431411)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15756