11. A Thorny Endeavor: Historical Archaeology and Diachronic, Regional Landscape Survey in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles
Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell
Department of Anthropology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI USA
This chapter provides an overview of established and emergent archaeological reconnaissance methods in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles during the historic period. The involvement of systematic survey techniques in the study of historic landscapes is not currently a fundamental component of archaeological practice across the region. In places where it is applied, methodological approaches and objectives vary considerably, and are often tailored to accommodate particular insular environments, colonial histories, or heritage preservation initiatives. The relatively few existing examples of multi-method landscape survey succeed in shifting research perspectives from a focus on the high-visibility industrial remains of individual plantation estates to wider landscapes of production and exploitation, viewed comparatively and regionally. In broadening the horizons of Caribbean historical archaeology, these pioneering landscape-based studies raise issues that demand further attention, most notably, those of scale and the comparability of survey data between islands.