Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Read about Becki's Caribbean Adventure

RSC Belgium’s section secretary Becki Scott is a post-doctoral researcher with the NWO Island Networks project at Leiden University and is currently on a month long archaeological holiday mission in the Caribbean! There she is using her trusty phaser pXRF machine (see right) on ceramics and sampling clay deposits. And what is more she is keeping a daily blog diary so we can keep up with her Caribbean adventure!

Becki has a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Cultural Landscape Management from the University of Wales, Lampeter, and an MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology. She was awarded her PhD in 2011 in Archaeological and Forensic Glass Analysis from Cranfield University and joined the RSC Belgium section when she moved to KU Leuven in Belgium as a as a post-doctoral researcher on the ERC funded ARCHGLASS project analysing the effects of recycling on Roman glass compositions.

During this time, she developed an interest and expertise in the use of portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF) for the non-destructive analysis of archaeo-materials: a skill that Becki has used in a variety of projects for museums, archaeological units, and heritage institutions.

Island Networks
While working for KU Leuven, Becki began collaborating with the HERA Carib Connections project, developing a method for analysing the composition of indigenous ceramic objects from the Lesser Antilles. Becki's work helped identify the provenance of ceramic objects in the field, whilst working in Grenada. Her current role on the NWO Island Networks project continues this work to cover other islands in the Lesser Antilles.

The focus of the NWO Island Networks programme is the inter-community social relationships and transformations of island networks in the Lesser Antilles across the historical divide. The period AD 1000-1800 represents an archaeologically understudied and turbulent era during which the islands’ inhabitants came under increasing influence from South America and the Greater Antilles and participated in the last phase of indigenous resistance to colonial powers.

Caribbean archaeological research has focused on patterns of regional and pan-regional mobility of peoples and the exchange of goods and ideas during the pre-colonial period (pre-1492). Recent investigations have for the first time provided insights into early colonial period indigenous archaeology in the Lesser Antilles through the discovery of 16-18th century Amerindian settlements and associated material culture repertoires.

These discoveries offer a unique opportunity to study continuity and change in inter-community social relationships, and transformations of island networks at the advent of European colonialism using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Other interests
As well as being the secretary of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Belgium Section, Becki is also a member of No Man's Land (NML) the society for Great War Archaeologists and she was a winner in the 'I'm a Scientist, get me out of here' online science communication competition and is in the process of developing an 'Archaeometry' card game.

You can read Becki’s blog here and she is also on Twitter! Alternatively you could catch up with Becki’s adventures at our AGM on Friday 10 February at Les Amis Dinent Restaurant in Wezembeek-Oppem.

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