Dr Alice Samson

on fieldwork in the Dominican RepublicLecturer in Archaeology

BA (Cambridge), MPhil, PhD (Leiden), FHEA

Email: avms1@le.ac.uk

I joined the School as a Lecturer in Archaeology in January 2016.

Before coming to Leicester I studied French and Italian as an undergraduate in Cambridge (2001), after which I worked in Brussels for a couple of years. But office life was not for me and I returned to university to pursue my long-term passion for archaeology, studying for a Research Masters (2005) in European prehistory at Leiden University in the Netherlands. I followed this up with a PhD (2010) in Caribbean archaeology in Leiden and subsequently lectured for two years within the same archaeology faculty. In 2013 I joined the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research on a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship to continue my research in the Caribbean.


My research interests range from European prehistory to colonial archaeology of the indigenous Caribbean. Whether conducting fieldwork in indigenous settlements in the Dominican Republic (my PhD topic) or investigating rock art and early colonial encounters in Puerto Rican caves (my current project), I am concerned with the materiality of human sociality and cultural dynamics at household, community, and regional scales.


I teach and coordinate a number of modules at undergraduate and graduate level both on campus and by distance-learning, especially on the archaeology of the Caribbean and the Americas.

Select Recent Publications

Samson, A.V.M., Wrapson, L.J., Cartwright, C.R., Sahy, D., Stacey, R.J., Cooper, J., 2017. Artists before Columbus: A multi-method characterization of the materials and practices of Caribbean cave art, Journal of Archaeological Science 88, 24-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.09.012.

Samson, Alice V.M, Jago Cooper, Josue Caamano-Dones. 2016. "European visitors in Native spaces: Using palaeography to investigate religious dynamics in the New World." Latin American Antiquity 27(4):443-461.

Cooper, Jago, Alice V.M. Samson, Miguel A. Nieves, Michael Lace, Josue Caamano-Dones, Patricia Kambesis, Caroline Cartwright, Laura del Olmo Frese. 2016. "The Mona Chronicle: The archaeology of early religious encounter in the New World." Antiquity 90(352): 1054-1071.

Vieten, Rolf-Martin, Amos Winter, Lucy J. Wrapson, Alice V.M. Samson, Jago Cooper, Patricia N. Kambesis, Michael J. Lace, Miguel A. Nieves. 2016. "Quantifying the impact of human visitation in two cave chambers on Mona Island (Puerto Rico): Implications for archaeological site conservation." Cave and Karst Science 43(2): 79-85.

Samson, A.V.M., C.A. Crawford, M.L.P. Hoogland, and C.L. Hofman. 2015. “Resilience in Pre-Columbian Caribbean House-Building: Dialogue Between Archaeology and Humanitarian Shelter.” Human Ecology 43: 323–37. doi:10.1007/s10745-015-9741-5.

Samson, A.V.M. and J. Cooper. 2015. History on Mona Island: Long-term human and landscape dynamics of an ‘uninhabited’ island. New West Indian Guide 89:1-2, pp.30-50.

Samson, A. V. M., J. Cooper, M.A. Nieves, L.J. Wrapson, D. Redhouse, R. Vieten, O. De Jesús, T. García López, A. Palermo, V. Serrano, D. Torres, A. Vega. 2015. “Indigenous Cave Use, Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico.” In Proceedings of the 25th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology. San Juan, pp. 414-444.

Valcárcel Rojas R., Samson A.V.M. and Hoogland M.L.P. (2013). Indo-Hispanic dynamics: From Contact to colonial interaction in the Greater Antilles.. International Journal of Historical Archaeology DOI: 10.1007/s10761-012-0208-8.

Samson, Alice V. M., Cooper, Jago E., Nieves, Miguel A., Rodríguez Ramos, Reniel, Kambesis, Patricia N., and Lace, Michael J. 2013. “Cavescapes in the Pre-Columbian Caribbean.” Antiquity 87 (338).

Samson A.V.M.(2013). Household archaeology in the pre-Columbian Caribbean,”. W. Keegan, C.L. Hofman and R. RodríguezRamos. (eds.), Oxford handbook of Caribbean archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Samson A.V.M. and Waller B.M. (2010). Not Growling but Smiling: New Interpretations of the Bared‐Teeth Motif in the Pre‐Columbian Caribbean. Current Anthropology, 51(3), 425-433. DOI: 10.1086/651090.

Share this page: