I am a Precolumbian Caribbean archaeologist and exchange theory specialist. For my Research Master, which I finished in 2007 at Leiden University, I explored the social mechanisms of Pre-Columbian exchange with a case-study on “guaízas” (Late Ceramic Age Caribbean shells depicting a face) by viewing these artefacts as social valuables.
Currently I am a PhD student in the VICI-research "Communicating Communities". In my research I will deal with the topic of social valuables from a Pan-Caribbean perspective. Using exchange theories from a wide range of paradigms I will try to interpret distribution patterns of artefacts and concentrate on their distinct social value in the exchange systems of the Greater Caribbean area (consisting of the Antilles and the Caribbean coastal area), I will address such questions as to which extent it is possible to speak of a unified exchange system (or systems) within which local interaction spheres were socio-culturally integrated and mediated and, if so, how these system(s) would have operated.
Additionally, I take an active interest in the epistemological backgrounds of paradigm formation in archaeology, specifically concerning the perceived interpretational incompatibility of the human and natural sciences. In my research on exchange I have adopted a position of consilience of these two paradigms by combining concepts of the “Maussian gift” with that of “Costly Signalling Theory.”
Johan de Witt Gymnasium Dordrecht : Gymnasium (Grammar School)
University Leiden : Bachelor Archaeology
2002 - 2005 Graduated
University Leiden : Research Master
2005 – 2007 Graduated cum laude
Precolumbian Antillean Archaeology
Precolumbian Archaeology of the South American mainland Caribbean
Evolution and biological foundations of Human Sociality
Epistemology of Archaeology
# 2006 Mol, Angus A.A.., Guaízas: Meaningless commodities, inalienable sacra, or many-faced exchange valuable? Paper presented at Leiden Archaeology in the Caribbean: Current Research, Leiden University.
# 2007 Mol, Angus A. A.., Costly Giving, Giving Guaízas: Towards an organic framework of Late Ceramic Age Exchange in the Caribbean. Sidestone publishers, Leiden.
# 2008 Mol, Angus A. A., Universos Socio-cósmicos en colisión: descripciones etnohistóricas de situaciones de intercambio en la Antillas Mayores durante el periodo de proto-contacto. Translated by Roberto Valcarcél-Rojas. Caribe Arquéologico 10:13-22.
# in prep. Mol, Angus A. A., Something for nothing: Some Thoughts on the Tracking of Artefact Biographies in the Caribbean. Publication of a paper presented at the 73rd meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver.
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I know that it has been a long time since you have posted anything in this network, however I recently discovered the research that you published in 2011 concerning Taino guaiza masks as they relate to the soul of a living person (the goeiz). I am so very impressed with that great work and wanted to let you know how much I admire it.
I wonder if you are aware of the fact that the language of ancient Maya literature as exemplified by the Popol Vuh actually establishes a specific link between the fact of a person's death and the fact that this person's face is no longer present on earth.