Island Hopper: Theodoor de Booy and Archaeology in the Caribbean

Author(s): L. Antonio Curet

Year: 2017


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 Indian (MAI) was one these early foreign scholars working in the Carribbean. He collected thousands of objects and created a large photographic collection during at least 13 expeditions throughout the region. With the breadth of work he conducted, de Booy could easily be considered the leading specialist of Caribbean archaeology of his time. Unfortunately, despite his successful career, his role in Caribbean archaeology and the quality of the collections he obtained are greatly underestimated by scholars working in the region. This paper discusses the nature of de Booy’s traveling and research throughout the Caribbean, from Cuba and Jamaica to Venezuela, and characterizes the collections he obtained in these endeavors. The impact of de Booy’s projects, collections, and publications on the archaeology of the region will also be discussed.

Cite this Record

Island Hopper: Theodoor de Booy and Archaeology in the Caribbean. L. Antonio Curet. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432095)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16073