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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The zooarchaeological record of the Caribbean is one of the most interesting in the world, owing to the combination of unique culture histories along with the high natural, biological, and environmental diversities. This article reviews some recent examples of faunal research regarding past lifeways in the region and offers suggestions for how future studies can build upon existing knowledge. The case studies selected span the geographic variability of the Caribbean islands and exemplify recent trends in faunal studies. The discussion addresses two overlapping themes that crosscut time periods and the geographic variability of the islands. The first topic is diet and cultural trajectories. In the last 10 years, zooarchaeological studies of Caribbean assemblages have increasingly examined the social relationship of diet and animal use to cultural developments. The second topic considers the use of zooarchaeological data for understanding biogeography and human impacts on fauna.

Keywords: faunal research, Caribbean zooarchaeology, Caribbean islands, diet, cultural trajectories, biogeography

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