During the past few decades, Caribbean scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have increasingly developed and employed new methods and techniques for the study of archaeological materials. The aim of earlier research in the Caribbean was mainly to define typologies on the basis of pottery and lithic assemblages leading to the establishment of chronological charts for the region, and it was not until the 1980s that the use of technological and functional analyses of artifacts became widespread. The 1990s saw a veritable boom in this field, introducing innovative methods and techniques for analyzing artifacts and human skeletal remains. Innovative approaches included microscopic use-wear analysis, starch residue and phytolith analysis, stable isotope analysis, experimental research, ethnoarchaeological studies, geochemical analyses, and DNA studies.
The purpose of this volume is to describe new methods and techniques in the study of archaeological materials from the Caribbean and to assess possible avenues of mutual benefit and integration. Exploring the advantages and disadvantages in the application of a selected number of newly emerging methods and techniques, each of these approaches is illustrated by a case study. These studies benefited from a diverse array of experience and the international background of the researchers from Canada, the Netherlands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Italy, Mexico, Dominican Republic, England, and the United States who are integral members of the archaeological community of the Caribbean. A background to the study of archaeological materials in the Caribbean since the 1930s is provided in order to contextualize the latest developments in this field.
Benoît Bérard, Mathijs Booden, Iris Briels, Jago Cooper, Alfredo Coppa, Andrea Cucina, Gareth Davies ,Hylke de Jong, Christy de Mille, Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L. P. Hoogland, Charlene Dixon Hutcheson, Daan Isendoorn, Loe Jacobs, William F. Keegan, Harold J. Kelly, Sebastiaan Knippenberg, Yvonne M. J. Lammers-Keijsers,Fernando Luna Calderón, Marcos Martinón-Torres, Lee A. Newsom, Channah Nieuwenhuis José R. Oliver,Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez, Raphaël G. A. M. Panhuysen, Roberto Rodríguez Suárez, Glenis Tavarez María, Michael Turney, Roberto Valcárcel Rojas, Annelou L. van Gijn,Rita Vargiu,Tamara Varney, Johannes Zijlstra