The Archaeology of Climate Change in the Caribbean

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Parent Project Details
Parent Project Title:The Archaeology of Climate Change in the Caribbean
Sub Projects: Los Buchillones Archaeology Project

Project Details

Title:The Archaeology of Climate Change in the Caribbean
Abstract:Pre-Colombian populations in the Caribbean, from 5000 BC to AD 1492, lived through more than five metres relative sea level rise, marked variation in annual rainfall and periodic intensification of hurricane activity. This Leverhulme funded project exploits the time depth of cultural practice to provide archaeological lessons that can inform current responses to the impacts of climate change in the region. This parent project emerges from an interdisciplinary collaboration between Cuban, British and Canadian archaeologists and palaeoenvironmental scientists. This collaboration, that began in 2002, has included a wide-ranging study of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data. The primary aim of this project is to explore the temporal and spatial scales at which cause and effect between archaeological and palaeoclimatic phenomena can be correlated, analysed and interpreted. Recent research has identified spatial and temporal patterns in the changing nature of pre-Colombian lifeways in the Caribbean. This archaeological information has then been closely correlated in space and time with the long and short-term impacts of climate variability and environmental change. It has then been possible to evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of past cultural practices in the face of environmental change and establish lessons that will contribute to contemporary mitigation strategies. It is clear that by developing research questions compatible with the data resolution available it is possible to identify ways of living in the past that helped mitigate the impacts of climate change. This research can provide modern day populations with practical information on settlement locations, food procurement strategies and household architecture that have not previously been considered and that can now be used to inform climate change mitigation strategies in the Caribbean.
Keywords:Caribbean, Climate Variability, Environmental Change, Hazards,
Sponsors/Funders: Leverhulme Trust
Cuban Ministry of Science
Technology and Environment
Leicester University
Project Start Year:2002

Account Owner

Contact: Jago Cooper
Institution: Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, The British Museum
Postal Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London
Post Code: WC1B 3DG

Project extent

North East Coordinates: 26.74561°N, 59.76562°W
South West Coordinates: 8.75479°N, 86.83594°W