Historical and Contemporary Use of Natural Stones in the French West Indies. Conservation Aspects and Practices

Abstract : The French West Indies (F.W.I.), in the Eastern Caribbean, are part of a biodiversity hotspot and an archipelago of very rich geology. In this specific natural environment, the abundance or the lack of various natural resources has influenced society since the pre-Columbian era. The limited size of the islands and the growth of their economy demand a clear assessment of both the natural geoheritage and the historical heritage. This paper presents a brief review of the variety of the natural stone architectural heritage of the F.W.I. and of the available geomaterials. Some conservation issues and threats are evidenced, with particular emphasis on Guadeloupe. Some social practices are also evoked, with the long-term goal of studying the reciprocal influence of local geology and society on conservation aspects. Finally, this paper argues that unawareness is one of the main obstacles for the conservation of the geoheritage and the natural stone architectural heritage in the F.W.I.
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Yves Mazabraud. Historical and Contemporary Use of Natural Stones in the French West Indies. Conservation Aspects and Practices. Sustainability, MDPI, 2019, 11 (17), pp.4566. ⟨10.3390/su11174566⟩. ⟨hal-02269611⟩

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