Prehistoric migration in the Caribbean: past perspectives, new models and the ideal free distribution of West Indian colonization

Giovas, Christina M. and Fitzpatrick, Scott M. (2014) Prehistoric migration in the Caribbean: past perspectives, new models and the ideal free distribution of West Indian colonization. World Archaeology, 46 4: 569-589. doi:10.1080/00438243.2014.933123


Author Giovas, Christina M.
Fitzpatrick, Scott M.
Title Prehistoric migration in the Caribbean: past perspectives, new models and the ideal free distribution of West Indian colonization
Journal name World Archaeology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-8243
1470-1375
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00438243.2014.933123
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 46
Issue 4
Start page 569
End page 589
Total pages 21
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Historically, archaeologists have pursued two basic approaches to prehistoric Caribbean colonization: those relying on historical narratives and those informed by theoretical modelling. With few exceptions, the latter have not been widely employed. Here, we introduce a behavioural ecology model used in Pacific archaeology, the ideal free distribution (IFD), to understand Caribbean migration and island settlement as a form of adaptive behaviour. We assess the sequences of Ceramic Age (post-2500 bp) colonization and overall prehistoric island colonization for fit against the predictions of the IFD using terrestrial net primary production and island area as measures of habitat suitability. We conclude that certain aspects of Caribbean colonization - the initial settlement of larger, high-quality-habitat islands and temporal pauses between migration pulses - are consistent with the IFD. Model inconsistencies observed for Ceramic Age colonization, however, are best explained in terms of the limitations of Pre-Columbian seafaring and territorial behaviour on the part of pre-existing Archaic occupants.
Keyword Caribbean
Human behavioural ecology
Ideal free distribution
Island colonization
Migration
Prehistoric seafaring
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 03 Apr 2016, 22:19:59 EST by Christina Giovas on behalf of School of Social Science