Casale, Dr. Simone

Simone is a researcher at the KITLV and Leiden University, Faculty of Archaeology. His research tries to overcome the archaeological narratives in the Caribbean region, with a focus on Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas archipelago. Narratives have aided in the creation of a simplistic and static perception of the first inhabitants of the region. In contrast, Simone’s study aims to target questions linking ceramic manufacturing practices, social complexity, and multiculturality among ancient Caribbean societies. A detailed analysis of Caribbean lifeways through their ceramic practices, such as the technologies required for procuring, fashioning, and use will provide unique archaeological data on indigenous identities and sociocultural behaviors prior to the devastating effects of Spanish invasions.

Simone holds a bachelor degree in Science and Technologies for the Cultural Heritage from the Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy (2012), a Master of Science in Archaeometry from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2016) and a master degree cum laude in Material Culture Studies from Leiden University (2017). He defended his PhD thesis Asyè yo, Ollas and Vasijas. Situating pottery production in the circum-Caribbean through a technological perspective at Leiden University on 15 December 2022.

His previous studies were both on ceramic manufacturing and clay procurement practices in Europe and Central America. He carried out compositional analyses on ceramic paste and glaze (pXRF, SEM-EDS, ICP-MS) on 16th and 17th-century European faience, performed during an internship with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands in Amsterdam. With the Proyecto Arqueológico Centro de Nicaragua (PACEN) he carried out an extensive clay survey (50km2) together with geochemical analysis and petrographic analysis on pre-Hispanic ceramics in the Central of Nicaragua.

Simone also works as a GIS specialist and spatial analyst in the CaribTRAILS project.

Selected Publications

(Translated with N.R. Donner, D. Braekmans, and A. Geurds),  ‘Anonymous, Ceramic comales at the Barillas site (cal 1255–1390 CE), central Nicaragua: Defining a local technical tradition of griddle manufacture [VIDI grant “Networked practices of contact: Cultural identity at the Late Prehistoric settlement of Aguas Buenas, Nicaragua, AD 500–1522”]’, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 24: 829–842, 2019.