21 Nov Safeguarding archaeological heritage from the Venezuelan Caribbean
The Prince Claus Fund and Gerda Henkel Foundation approved Marlena Antczak’s project for funding in their program Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage under Threat.
This project concerns the “Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and Republican Archaeological Heritage from the Venezuelan Caribbean” kept at and custodied by The Archaeological Studies Unit (UEA) at the Simón Bolívar University (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. All these collections are derived from 30 years of archaeological investigations on the islands of the Venezuelan Caribbean (the Venezuelan Island Archaeology Project) directed by Marlena Antczak and Andrzej Antczak.
This is the only complete archaeological collection in Venezuela coming from systematic excavations and contains nearly 100,000 artifacts and ecofacts. The pre-colonial materials include hundreds of human pottery figurines, anthropo- and zoomorphic vessels and dozens of artifacts of ritualistic or shamanic function, apart from a vast zooarchaeological collection. The colonial- and republican-period collections largely consist of ceramics, metal, stone, and glass artefacts. This project aims to help in the preservation of these rich and diverse collections of extraordinary academic, historic, and artistic value, as well as of great significance for local communities, especially those that inhabit the islands.
The funding from the Partnership between the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund allows to perform, among others, the following activities: 1. physical safeguarding (improvement of security measures at UEA USB); 2. virtual safeguarding (emergency digitization of the most vulnerable objects [‘virtual museum pilot’] and placing them in an open access source); and 3. crafting replicas and reconstructions of selected objects of pre-colonial imagery (allowing heritage to act now), to be donated for small exhibitions in the local communities in the Los Roques Archipelago and on Margarita Island.
Image cover: image from the cover of the book Los Ídolos de las Islas Prometidas: Arqueología Prehispánica del Archipiélago de Los Roques by Marlena Antczak and Andrzej Antczak. Photos by Paolo Gasparini and Carlos Germán Rojas.
Selected objects of the pre-Hispanic imagery from the collection of the Archaeological Studies Unit (UEA) at Simón Bolívar University (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. Photographs by Marlena Antczak, Carlos Germán Rojas and Andrzej Antczak.
Selected objects from the colonial and republican collection of the Archaeological Studies Unit (UEA) at Simón Bolívar University (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. Photographs by Konrad Antczak.
Selected views of the installations of the Archaeological Studies Unit (UEA) at Simón Bolívar University (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. Photographs by Konrad Antczak, José Voglar and Marlena Antczak.