The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean

An archaeological perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

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..
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water
Volume4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Caribbean
  • archaeology
  • human-water interaction
  • environmental change

Cite this

Finneran, N. (2017). The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean: An archaeological perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water, 4(5), 1-13.
Finneran, Niall. / The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean : An archaeological perspective. In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water. 2017 ; Vol. 4, No. 5. pp. 1-13.
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Finneran, N 2017, 'The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean: An archaeological perspective', Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 1-13.

The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean : An archaeological perspective. / Finneran, Niall.

In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water, Vol. 4, No. 5, 21.07.2017, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - 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..

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Finneran N. The materiality of human-water interaction in the Caribbean: An archaeological perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews WIRES Water. 2017 Jul 21;4(5):1-13.