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Reviews of African Sites: Archaeology in the Caribbean

“No temples, pyramids or lost cities—Caribbean architecture has long been the Cinderella at the ball of American archaeology. Yet, arguably nowhere else in the world have so many ‘parts’ been constructed, subverted or ignored as in the many islands of the Caribbean.

“After 500 years of colonial history, the Caribbean remains a cultural mosaic. African, European and Asian peoples have moved (or been moved) into the region. The archaeological traces of this population transfusion are the focus of their book—a fascinating and timely snapshot of current work in Afro-Caribbean archaeology.”

The Times Higher Education Supplement

“The 12 papers in this collection treat the archaeology of African slaves and their descendants in the Caribbean islands and are written by regional specialists heavily involved in fieldwork. Included are studies on excavations of plantations, workers’ houses, freedmen’s homes, and cemeteries. More specialized papers discuss ceramics, both those produced in Africa and those obtained from European sources; architectural styles; and, broadly speaking, material culture. An adequate selection of maps and photographs of archaeological sites and cultural remains spice this significant contribution to an expanding body of studies that has followed Jerome Handler’s pioneering work of the early 1960s in Barbados. This constitutes perhaps the first published volume devoted to African sites in the Caribbean. Caribbean specialists and those more generally interested in the archaeology of the African presence will appreciate its contributions. Their students will appreciate the definitive bibliography. Venturesome readers interested in the region, folk culture, and archaeological research in general will also find much to hold their attention.”