Dr. Stéphen Rostain is an archaeologist and research director at the National Centre National for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France. For more than thirty years, he has worked in Amazonia and various countries of Latin America, where he has long lived. Among other activities, he organized the first excavations along the coast of French Guiana, where he discovered thousands of pre-Columbian raised fields. He also conducted a major archaeological project on the island of Aruba, off the coast of Venezuela, with a Dutch colleague, and set in place research on important artificial mound sites at the foot of the Andes in Ecuador.
Within the scope of the Nexus project, he organised a tutorial on “the Archaeology of the Amazon” during three months in 2017 at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. After this experience, he considers that the “intercultural dynamics” aspect of the Nexus project is not only an abstract concept, but fully put in practice in the faculty where many participants from everywhere in the World are contributing together to the research. Moreover, researchers, students and administrators permanently interact with a generous spirit. A perfect example of this dynamism has been the high participation of everybody to the Rostain’s tutorial and the success of the completely voluntary brainstorming sessions that he organized on various thesis thematic. There is absolutely no doubt that Nexus 1492 will provide an exceptional set of data, hypothesis and results and, at the same time, will train a complete generation of future researchers dedicated to the Caribbean.
A few publications: Islands in the rainforest: Landscape Management in Pre-Columbian Amazonia (2012). Antes. Arqueología de la Amazonía ecuatoriana with G. de Saulieu (2013). Amazonie. Un jardin sauvage ou une forêt domestiquée (2016). and Amazonie. Les 12 travaux des civilisations précolombiennes (2017).
Dr. Ivan Roksandic is a broadly trained linguist with a background in archaeology, epigraphy, textual analysis, and mythopoeia. His current research interests focus on problems in pre-Spanish toponomastics and pre-Columbian languages in the Caribbean. Combining linguistic and archaeological lines of research, he explores the patterns of successive migrations and colonization of the Caribbean islands and the linguistic heritage of different pre-Colombian ethnic groups as expressed in the toponymy of this region. He is a member of the Department of Anthropology and the director of the Caribbean Research Institute at the University of Winnipeg.”
I was a guest for one day at the Faculty of Archaeology (Leiden University) in December 2016. During that time, I made a presentation followed by a discussion; the topic was our (University of Winnipeg) project ““Characterizing diversity of early peoples in Cuba.” I spoke specifically about my part of the project: “An underused resource: Indigenous toponomastics in the Western Caribbean.” That was followed by consultations with Dr. Corinne Hofman about possible collaboration between our (UW) team and the NEXUS project. The result is our common application for the SSHRC Grant (awarded by the Government of Canada) entitled “People, plants and places: Incorporating Cuban data into the changing framework of circum-Caribbean archaeology.