Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 275–305 | Cite as

Remotely Local: Ego-networks of Late Pre-colonial (AD 1000–1450) Saba, North-eastern Caribbean

  • Angus A. A. Mol
  • Menno L. P. Hoogland
  • Corinne L. Hofman
Article

Abstract

Ego-networks, based on a socio-metric method for the analysis of the direct social relations an individual engages in, of archaeological site assemblages may be used to great effect in archaeology. They provide a means to combine multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary data and thereby explore sites as a nexus of material relations. This paper outlines how such a site ego-network could be constructed. This is illustrated using the fourteenth century site of Kelbey’s Ridge 2, Saba, in the North-eastern Caribbean. Kelbey’s Ridge 2 is an interesting case study since it was likely a newly established, but also short-lived settlement. The reason for settlement may have been that, even if the island of Saba was relatively poor in terrestrial resources, it had a geographically strategic location and access to rich marine resources. Intra-site features at the site evidence a complex set of relations between house spaces and living and deceased members of the community. Additionally, the site’s engagement with the wider island world is reflective of a transitional moment for communities in the late pre-colonial North-eastern Caribbean. A betweenness analysis of its ego-network provides a new perspective of Kelbey’s Ridge 2, pinpointing material practices and objects that must have been crucial for the viability and identity of the community. This case study shows that ego-networks may be profitably used alongside current archaeological relational theories, substantive studies of site assemblages and other archaeological network approaches.

Keywords

Archaeological network analysis Ego-networks Caribbean archaeology Relational theory Site assemblage analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angus A. A. Mol
    • 1
  • Menno L. P. Hoogland
    • 1
  • Corinne L. Hofman
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ArchaeologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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