Exceptionally excited for this years archaeological conference. The Society for American Archaeology is having its 84th meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not only have I never been to New Mexico, but it gives me the opportunity to introduce some of my international friends to the United States for their first time and see my parents who live in Arizona. In addition, I am very proud to present my research that has been brewing since 2015. This will be a summary of the results from a forthcoming publication. It is data generated from archaeological clay griddles excavated from Turks & Caicos and Dominican Republic. This evidence demonstrated how and which plants were prepared on these griddles in the 13-15th centuries. I like to envision all the stories that were told while people stood around the clay griddles and a cooking fire. Trials, tribulations, and tumultuous relationships expunged through the delicious tastes of home-cooking. Please read the following abstract for the presentation that follows.
Culinary contributions: What was prepared on griddles in the northern Caribbean
Andy J. Ciofalo and Corinne L. Hofman
Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, the Netherlands
Late Precolonial (CE 1200-1492) foodways in the northern Caribbean have received limited investigations. This paper is a synopsis of interpretations based on empirical evidence from microbotanical residues (starches) extracted from clay griddles (flat ‘cooking’ plates) excavated from three archaeological sites: El Flaco and La Luperona in northwestern Dominican Republic, and Palmetto Junction on the western coast of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. Determining foodways has been integral for the study of cultures, yet there has never been a comparison of foodways in the northern Caribbean between the Greater Antilles (the presumed origin of people that migrated into The Bahamas) and the Bahama archipelago. We aimed to reconstruct some of the culinary practices and more thoroughly understand variations of foodways. This research adds another dimension to previous general archaeological comparisons between the Greater Antilles and The Bahamas. This survey of foodways has exposed cultural niches, transported plants, different adaptation strategies, and associated culinary practices.