The Heritage of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba

Leiden University is the preeminent university worldwide for education and research in Caribbean archaeology. Little is known about the indigenous inhabitants of the Antilles and Aruba in the precolonial period. But it is precisely this period which is of great societal relevance in the area, namely with respect to a shared “Cultural Heritage” contributing to more balanced historical awareness. The current situation of diverse ethnic backgrounds which blend to form a specific Caribbean culture also has precolonial indigenous (“Indian”) elements.  

The traces of this cultural heritage are increasingly threatened by, among other things, increasing tourist activities. Conservation, more research and support for local institutions and local training are very important. Chief in this respect will be emphasis on public oriented presentations for the local inhabitants. In addition to this, more public oriented presentations will also be directed towards tourists, and more international attention stimulated with respect to the uniqueness of the cultural heritage

Project leaders

Professor dr. Corinne Hofman (Faculty of Archaeology)
Dr. Menno Hoogland (Faculty of Archaeology)


The funding concerns a total of € 755.000 over a 5 year period (2007-2011).  Public presentations and publications will precede more focused future research anchored in Netherlands Antillean and Aruban society.

Last Modified: 10-04-2008