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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a single idea to which every Caribbean archaeologist has subscribed: The idea that the history of the indigenous Caribbean is best described from a network perspective, which is most successfully achieved by studying the mobility of its people and their exchange of material and immaterial cultures. This article examines the concepts of mobility and exchange as they have been used in Caribbean archaeology and how they could be used to an even greater effect in the future. First, it discusses the history of research and recent conceptual trends in the regional archaeology of mobility and exchange. Second, the article describes how the distinct materialities of the networks that created this highly interrelated pre-Columbian past could be studied through a single theoretical and analytical network approach. It regards “mobility” as a concept encompassing the range of motivations and types of movement of people at multiple scales.

Keywords: Caribbean archaeology, indigenous Caribbean, mobility, exchange, social network

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