20 March 2024

International Workshop Develops New Network in Caribbean Archaeology

Between 11th and 14th March 2024, IN THE SAME SEA Postdoctoral Fellow Felicia Fricke and her colleagues Eduardo Herrera Malatesta (Århus University, Denmark) and Maaike de Waal (Leiden University, The Netherlands) hosted a workshop entitled The Future of Ethics in Caribbean Archaeology. Located at the Saxo Institute, it was a follow-up to a previous workshop, which took place at the Lorentz Center (Leiden, The Netherlands) in November 2023. Over four days, 30 workshop attendees in Copenhagen set concrete goals for the ethical development of archaeology in the Caribbean. These included:

  • collaboration and co-operation between archaeologists in different parts of the Caribbean, by building a website that will disseminate information and facilitate interpersonal contacts.
  • building local capacity, which is vital for the ethical progression of Caribbean archaeology, by putting together a certificate course in archaeology that is specifically aimed at Caribbean students.
  • reaching teenage audiences, through a social media presence that will provide information about Caribbean archaeology in a fun and accessible way.
  • the peer review of a position paper that sets out some of the main ethical issues in the discipline and what kinds of solutions can be identified on a structural and personal level.

The workshop brought together (in person and online) independent scholars, university researchers, government employees, and postgraduate students from Curaçao, Barbados, Germany, Grenada, Haiti, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, St. Eustatius, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, and Venezuela.

Keynote speeches by Rachel Watkins (American University, DC) on community engagement in bioanthropology and Priscilla Ulguim (Free University Brussels) on ethical archaeogaming were anchor points of the event. At its end, participants emerged with a plan, assigned tasks, and a name for the community: Coalition for Caribbean Archaeological Heritage.[1]

Having acquired support from all three funding bodies that the organisers approached, this event was generously funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Carlsberg Foundation, and the Center for Modern European Studies (University of Copenhagen). This success in funding acquisition enabled essential financial travel assistance for colleagues from heritage institutions in the Caribbean region. The event was also supported by Marie Skłodowska Curie Action through Eduardo Herrera Malatesta (Århus University), and by the European Research Council through Gunvor Simonsen’s project IN THE SAME SEA (University of Copenhagen).

This workshop represents a significant achievement for Caribbean archaeology at UCPH in general and for the Saxo Institute in particular. The attendees are excited to see the coalition develop further and contribute to the ethical development of Caribbean archaeology. Watch this space for more news on this ground-breaking archaeological network!


[1] Coalición por el Patrimonio Arqueológico del Caribe / Coalition pour le patrimoine archéologique de la Caraïbe.