Archaeology and Ethnography on Old Providence and Santa Catalina Islands (Colombia)

Author(s): Tracie Mayfield

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "Afro-Latin American Landscapes" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

English settlers colonized Old Providence and Santa Catalina islands in 1629—arriving on the Seaflower, sister ship to the Mayflower—one year after the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in what was to become the United States, but the two colonies had very different historical trajectories. From 1629 to 1630, colonists, under the direction of the Providence Island Company, constructed a town, New Westminster, and several forts. Around 1836, it became clear that the islands would not have enough agricultural productivity to sustain the population. Before the Spanish captured the colony in 1641, the islands were home to nobles, indentured servants, and tenant farmers from Europe, African and Afro-Caribbean slaves, Miskito Indians, Pequot Indians, and English and Dutch pirates, including William Henry Morgan. Many of the original inhabitants and early settlers stayed on after the colony changed hands and their descendants continue to live on the islands to this day. This presentation will provide a review preliminary data, initial research outcomes, and lessons learned from the inaugural field research season, which centered on archaeological and ethnographic data collection with the goal of investigating material, temporal, historiographical, cultural, and spatial dialectics on these small, yet highly multicultural, western Caribbean islands.

Cite this Record

Archaeology and Ethnography on Old Providence and Santa Catalina Islands (Colombia). Tracie Mayfield. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467219)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32468