Eduardo Herrera Malatesta

Job title
Researcher, Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University

Eduardo obtain his bachelor degree in Anthropology in 2004 at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. In 2009 he got an MSc. in Anthropology at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas and in 2011an MSc. in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology at the University College London. He got his doctoral degree at Leiden University in 2018 where he develop a research focus on the study of indigenous landscape transformation as a consequence of the arrival of Europeans to the Caribbean in 1492. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher in the NEXUS 1492 research project.

He has done research in archaeology and anthropology in western, central and eastern Venezuela and northern Dominican Republic, mainly in coastal and island environments. He has taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2012 and 2013 courses related to GIS, cartography and archaeology. As well as at Leiden University on landscape archaeology and heritage.

Current Research

(Re)constructing Contested Landscapes in the Caribbean: Using Spatial Statistics and GIS to understand the landscape transformation from the indigenous island of Hayti to the Colonial one of La Española.

Archaeological research on the northern part of the indigenous island of Hayti, called  by Columbus as La Española, and today shared by the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has develop considerably in recent years as a consequence of regional research. An important data base related to indigenous material culture and archaeological sites has been in growing for the Dominican Republic provinces of Montecristi, Valverde and Puerto Plata, as well as for the area of Fort Liberté in northeastern Haiti. The main objective of this postdoctoral research will be to create a synthesis with those databases to (re)construct the landscape of the indigenous people that occupied the region before the arrival of the Spanish in 1492 and how this historical event affected and conflicted with their landscape.

There are three main lines to develop this objective:

  1. a database with all the available archaeological data will be design and oriented for spatial analysis;
  2. as the majority of data has been collected within a coastal environment, a new survey on the mainland along the Yaque river will be done, to allow a deeper understanding of indigenous landscapes;
  3. a set of spatial statistical and GIS methods will be apply to understand archaeological distributional patterns from the region.

These data and the results of the analysis will be interpreted within a landscape theory frame that will allow the conceptualization of the indigenous landscape transformations along the historical divide of 1492.

Eduardo Herrera Malatesta