Collaborative Research: An archaeological examination of the cultural and ecological consequences of colonialism

Project: Research project

Project Details


In 2017, Hurricane Maria exposed evidence of a colonial-era settlement on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Subsequent testing and salvage excavation identified material culture and structural remains dating to as early as the 16th century. Preliminary interpretations of the site, named LaSoye 2, suggest that it was initially an informal European trading complex established by Dutch settlers, abandoned in the early 18th century, and subsequently re-occupied by the French in the 1740s. The site is situated on a protected bay along the coastline of a historically active trading channel between Marie Galante, Guadeloupe and Dominica, protected by a headland called Point La Soye. Behind this point was one of the first sheltered anchorage for vessels voyaging from Africa and Europe. Until the late 18th century, Dominica was one of few territories controlled by the Kalinago, the Indigenous inhabitants of the Lesser Antilles at the time of contact. LaSoye 2 is one of few archaeological sites in the eastern Caribbean dating to this period, and unique in its context as a non-Spanish trading post in an area where the settlement of Europeans was politically and economically precarious
Effective start/end date5/1/224/30/24


  • National Science Foundation (BCS-2150876)


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