Potteries of the Caribbean

The Caribbean has a rich and varied past, often represented by ceramic objects. Ceramic objects are usually prolific on archaeological sites and therefore form a focus for many interdisciplinary studies. These remains can provide a wealth of information about past cultures, relating to style, manufacturing technology, and ultimately past trade and resource management. Stylistic and typological studies can be used to create relative chronologies for a site, while chemical and petrographic analyses are used to provenance the raw material(s) used in the manufacture of the object. Although fragments of ceramics are sometimes available for destructive analyses, many objects held in collections are not. Likewise, these precious objects cannot always be transported to laboratories for further study.

Becki was involved with a couple of projects focusing on the provenancing of ceramic objects from the Lesser Antilles. Ceramic fragments from excavation contexts in the Caribbean had been sent to Europe for destructive chemical and petrographic analyses. However, larger, more complete objects in collections on the islands of Grenada and St. Vincent could neither be sub-sampled nor exported. Becki developed a method of using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pXRF) to analyse these objects. In other words, she took the instrument to the objects, rather than the objects to the lab. The result of this work has meant that objects, which would otherwise not be analysed geochemically, could be used to contribute to studies determining the cultural interactions between the islands of the LeDr Becki Scott, Greenwich University/ KUL

19h30 for 19h45 start, Friday 24 November 2017
British School of Brussels
Pater Dupierreuxlaan 1, 3080 Tervurensser Antilles.