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Friday, April 1 • 09:20 - 09:45
S03-03 Uncovering routes to Grenada: Exploring possible routes between mainland South America and the Southern Lesser Antilles

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Uncovering Routes to Grenada: Exploring possible routes between mainland South America and the Southern Lesser Antilles

Emma Slayton, Jan Christoph Athenstädt, Jan Hildenbrand

Archaeologists have been attempting to uncover past sea routes through computer analysis since the early 1990s. Though the trend did not carry over into the Caribbean sphere until the turn of the century, many of the themes that had been established by the study of seafaring in the Pacific were applied to this region as well. One of these themes is the focus on the colonization of islands by early seafarers. While it is important to focus on initial connections, those voyages were only one way in which the sea was crossed by early seafarers. Reciprocal voyaging, or the process through which communities kept in contact over time through the act of canoeing, is equally as important, as it allows us to evaluate ongoing interactions that we see reflected in archaeological assemblages throughout the Caribbean. The interruption or adaption of these established reciprocal networks take are also of interest to archaeologists, to determine the affect Europeans on local social rhythms. 
From the time Grenada was first sighted by Columbus in 1498, the structure of social networks in Antilles had already begun to change due to the influx of new peoples, new technology, and new materials. To determine the effects on the relationship between mainland South America, in particular Guyana and Venezuela, and the Southern islands of the Lesser Antilles, in particular Grenada, pathways will be modelled to determine the ease of movement between these areas. This paper proposes to test links between sites using a new method of calculating isochrones taking into account both current and wind data. Through the use of this method, we will try to evaluate the effect of seasonal fluctuations on the model from a new perspective. 
Through this case study we hope to establish the benefits of using a directed ischrone method to understand and explore sea based pathways and uncovering the layout of past links between inter-island and inter-mainland communities.

Friday April 1, 2016 09:20 - 09:45 CEST
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