The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean: an archaeological perspective

Finneran, Niall (2017) The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean: an archaeological perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water, 4 (5). pp. 1-13. ISSN 1757-7012

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This contribution offers a broad overview of the material evidence (archaeology) of multi-scalar approaches to human-water interaction on the islands of the Caribbean from the pre-contact period up to the present day (i.e. c. 3000 BC to AD 2000). Pre-contact indigenous hunting/gathering/fishing and early farming peoples relied upon water management technology to mitigate problems of water shortage, drought (and indeed problems of excess of water, flooding). Further, archaeological work linked to other inter-disciplinary approaches can demonstrate that their perception of water use was also linked to symbolic behaviour as well. After AD1492 as the newly Europeanised Caribbean islands industrialised in response to developing intensive sugar monoculture systems, more emphasis was placed upon extensive and complex water storage and irrigation works that at once reflected differing environmental demands of island ecologies, and also residual cultural traditions of the European colonial powers regarding water management and conservation. It will be demonstrated that within these socially and culturally diverse islandscapes, novel symbolic approaches to water also emerged, reflecting these many and varied roots of Caribbean cultural traditions..

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Caribbean; archaeology; human-water interaction; environmental change
Subjects: V Historical & philosophical studies > V490 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Departments: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Archaeology
Depositing User: Niall Finneran
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 08:30
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2017 15:28

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