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Volume 51 / Social Sciences


Carribean Area

W. JERALD KENNEDY, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University

FREDERICK LANGE IN THE "Current Research" section of American Antiquity (53:4, 1989, p. 868-869) notes considerable research being conducted in Lower Central America. Projects range from site surveys on Isla Zapatera, Nicaragua to fieldwork centering in the Arenal volcano region, the Nicoya Peninsula of northwestern Costa Rica, and the Boruca area to the south. Marco Antonio Herrera Mora, Director of the Dept. of Anthropology and History at the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica (1989), reports several major projects being conducted in Costa Rica under the aegis of the National Museum and the University of Costa Rica. Two trends in ongoing archaeological research are noted: the application of new analytical techniques to existing data, and research in previously unstudied or poorly known areas.

Several conferences took place during the past two years and are worthy of comment. The International Jade Conference, sponsored by the JFM Foundation, was held in Denver in 1987. Dumbarton Oaks was host to the conference on "Wealth and Hierarchy in the Intermediate Area" in 1988. Individual papers focusing on this region were presented at the 1988 and 1989 annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology and the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 1988.

THERE HAS BEEN A NOTICEABLE INCREASE in Caribbean archaeological research during the 1987-89 period, a trend which probably reflects the forthcoming 1992 Columbus quincentennial celebration. Specialized bibliographic reference works covering the Bahamas (item bi 90008396) and Netherlands Antilles (item bi 90008345) will prove helpful to those interested in this region, as will the extensive bibliography found in Deagan's excellent book on colonial period artifacts (item bi 89002301). A number of articles point to growing interest in plantation archaeology (items bi 90008391, bi 90008392, and bi 90008395).

In the "Current Research" section of American Antiquity (53:1, 1988, p. 189-192), Charles Hoffman comments on numerous field projects currently being conducted in the Bahamas (i.e., Conception Island, Samana Cay, San Salvador, Long Island, New Providence), the Virgin Islands (i.e., Tortola, St. Thomas, St. John's) and Jamaica. The Centro de Investigaciones Indígenas de Puerto Rico and the Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology of the Netherlands Antilles in Curaçao have been extremely active with major archaeological research projects in the Caribbean.

The Florida Museum of Natural History (formerly Florida State Museum) opened a new Research Library in Caribbean Archaeology, named after Ripley P. and Adelaide K. Bullen, both former contributors to the Handbook during the 1960s. The library was created to provide a central clearinghouse for publications about Caribbean archaeology. William F. Keegan has been appointed Director and Wm. Jerald Kennedy, Associate Director.

Several international meetings are noted during this period. The Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology in 1987 and 1988 provided papers on both historical and underwater archaeology in the Caribbean. In July 1989, over 100 specialists participated in the 13th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology held in Curaçao.

Beiter, Gary. Pictographs at two sites on Bonaire, N.A.: description, analysis and regional comparison. Florida Atlantic Univ., 1989.

Hansell, Patricia. The rise and fall of an Early Formative community: La Mula Sarigua, Central Pacific, Panama. Temple Univ., 1988.

Hoopes, John W. Early Formative ceramics and the origins of village life in Lower Central America. Harvard, 1987.

Keith, Donald H. The Molasses Reef wreck: v. 1-2. Texas A & M Univ., 1987.

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