Island networks: Transformations of inter-community social relationships in the Lesser Antilles at the advent of European colonialism

Corinne L. Hofman*, Lewis Borck, Jason E. Laffoon, Emma R. Slayton, Rebecca B. Scott, Thomas W. Breukel, Catarina Guzzo Falci, Maroussia Favre, Menno L.P. Hoogland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Caribbean Sea was a conduit for human mobility and the exchange of goods and ideas during the whole of its pre-colonial history. The period cal. AD 1000-1800, covering the Late Ceramic Age and early colonial era, represents an archaeologically understudied time during which the Lesser Antilles came under increasing influence from the Greater Antilles and coastal South America and participated in the last phase of indigenous resistance to colonial powers. This article summarizes the results of the Island Network project, supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in which a multi-disciplinary set of archaeological, archaeometric, geochemical, GIS, and network science methods and techniques have been employed to disentangle this turbulent era in regional and global history. These diverse approaches reveal and then explore multi-layered networks of objects and people and uncover how Lesser Antillean communities were created and transformed through teaching, trade, migration, movement, and exchange of goods and knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-316
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Issue number2-4
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO grant no. 360-62-060) as part of the research program titled “Island Networks: Modelling intercommunity social relationships in the Lesser Antilles across the historical divide (AD 1000-1800)”. The research also benefited from funding from the ERC-Synergy project NEXUS1492 (grant no. 319209). We thank Emma de Mooij for her editorial help and the reviewers and Scott Fitzpatrick for their useful comments on this paper. We specifically want to acknowledge the people of Grenada and St. Vincent for their hospitality, Neil and Colin Willcox and Dolton Charles for giving us access to their collections, and foremost to Irvince Auguiste and Sardo Sutherland, Kalinago from Dominica and St. Vincent with whom we have collaborated in all stages of the research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • archaeology
  • Caribbean
  • Cayo
  • Kalinago
  • networks


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