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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article notes that the initial layer of insular Caribbean cultural stratigraphy was forged by navigators who ventured in the first open-sea treks registered in the Western Hemisphere after the initial peopling of the Americas. Current understanding of the discoverers of the islands has changed dramatically in the past decade due to data generated from the discovery of new sites and the application of novel techniques. Newfound evidence demonstrates not only the existence of a very plural and dynamic cultural and social landscape during the early peopling of the archipelago but also the marked influence that these primeval societies had on the transformation of the insular into an artifact following their arrival. The article discusses some of these recent lines of evidence and provides guidelines regarding their implications for understanding the social and cultural configurations of the earliest inhabitants of the Antilles.

Keywords: Caribbean islands, cultural stratigraphy, human dispersal, Antilles, Central America

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