The overall aim of this research is to study how pre-Columbian communities in the Caribbean lived through past impacts of climate change and use this information to inform modern day mitigation strategies in the Caribbean.
This paper emerges from an attempt to more actively integrate archaeology with ongoing geographical and environmental discussions of human responses to the effects of climate change in the Caribbean. If archaeology is to contribute to the mitigation strategies currently being developed, then robust interpretations are necessary that can be practically integrated with inter-disciplinary action.
This paper discusses the methods needed to provide the high-resolution data and interpretations required using archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research from a case study area in northern Cuba. Using data collected from an ongoing collaborative archaeological research project with the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, we evaluate whether it is possible to make useful interpretations of human response to past changes in sea-level, precipitation and hurricane activity. Specifically, the effects of these activities on the changing nature of settlement locations, food procurement strategies and household architecture among pre-Columbian communities are evaluated. Indigenous mitigation strategies are identified and used to inform modern day preparation for the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean.