Ceramic Production and Interaction in the Northern Range of Trinidad

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Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology


Regional syntheses based on data recovered mostly from outside of the Northern Range have characterized the mountainous region in northern Trinidad as a boundary between two distinct interaction spheres during the Early Ceramic Age (ca. AD 350–650/800). Changes occurring on Trinidad, other islands of the southern Lesser Antilles, and the South American mainland resulted in the disintegration of these earlier style zones during the final centuries of the Early Ceramic. This period of Late Ceramic cultural realignment was characterized by climate change, the renegotiation of political and social networks, and demographic transformations. We consider newly recovered ceramic evidence from the central Northern Range in order to evaluate the characterization of the region as a boundary and the region's role in broader Caribbean trends. We examine participation in interaction spheres to provide a more nuanced understanding of regional dynamics as they were expressed locally. Ceramic data indicate that occupants of the central Northern Range interpreted regional styles using locally derived materials, thus simultaneously engaging regional traditions and constructing local patterns of resource exploitation.