Archaeology, People and Identity in Cape Verde Islands


The geographical location of Cape Verde islands made them one of most important places in early Portuguese exploration of African coast. The first European settlers were favoured by the Portuguese monarchy in the relations with African coast. Since 1472, they were forced to carry out exchange with local goods. This encouraged the development of cotton and sugarcane crops with slaves from the "Guinea Rivers", as was common in other Atlantic islands and the American colonies. The excavations reported here were carried out in Cidade Velha, the first capital of the islands. Archaeological materials from the Iberian Peninsula and other places of Europe, Africa and China have been recovered. Material evidence is useful to explore early Atlantic commercial networks. Over the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, this commercial activity was accompanied by the circulation of people, languages and ideas. The loss of the slave trade led to a gradual economic decline which, coupled with environmental constraints, resulted in the shortage of European settlers and the absence of indigenous population from the islands, and encouraged an early fusion of people and culture, giving rise to the present Creole Cape Verdean national identity.

Cite this Record

Archaeology, People and Identity in Cape Verde Islands. Jorge De Juan Ares, Yasmina Cáceres Gutierrez. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443575)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20034