Jago Cooper was appointed as Curator of the Americas in the department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas in 2012.

Jago has responsibility for the curation, presentation, development and research of the Americas collections at the British Museum.His research has long focused on the fascinating human story of the Americas and he has spent many years living and working throughout North, Central and South America.

Current projects

Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research

The Arctic: a vanishing world

El Corazón del Caribe

British Museum Google Maya Project

Previous projects

Where the Thunderbird lives

Day of the Dead

Beyond El Dorado

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

  • Adjunct Associate Professor City University of New York
  • Honorary Lecturer University of Leicester
  • Honorary Lecturer University College London
  • Affiliate Fellow Institute of Americas
  • Directors Advisory Board Institute of Latin American Studies
  • Society for American Archaeology Climate Change Committee Member

Recent publications

Samson, A. V.M., Wrapson, L., Cartwright, C., Sahy, D., Stacey, R. & Cooper, J 2017. Artists before Columbus: A multi-method characterization of the materials and practices of Caribbean cave art. Journal of Archaeological Science. 88, pp. 24-36.

Samson, A.V.M., Cooper, J. & Caamaño-Dones, J 2017. “ European Visitors in Native Spaces: using palaeography to investigate early religious dynamics in the New World, Latin American Antiquity, 27 (4), pp. 443-461.

Cooper, J., Samson, A.V.M., Nieves, M.A., Lace, M.J., Caamaño-Dones, J., Cartwright, C., Kambesis, P.N. and Frese, L. del O. 2016. “The Mona Chronicle”: the archaeology of early religious encounter in the New World’, Antiquity, 90(352), pp. 1054–1071.

Vieten, R., Winter, A., Samson, A.V.M., Cooper, J., Wrapson, L., Kambesis, P., Lace M. J. and Nieves, M. A. 2016. Quantifying the impact of human visitation in two cave chambers on Mona Island (Puerto Rico): implications for archaeological site conservation. In Cave and Karst Science 43, 2: 79–85

Cooper, J. and Duncan, L. 2016. Applied Archaeology in the Americas: evaluating archaeological solutions to the impacts of global environmental change. In (eds.) Isendahl, C. & Stump, D. Applied Archaeology, Historical Ecology and the Useable Past. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 432-451.

Samson, A. & Cooper, J. 2015. History of Isla de Mona: the diachronic dynamics of subterranean human interaction. In New West Indian Guide 89: 30-60.

Dearing, J., Acma, B. Bub, S., Chambers, F., Chen, X., Cooper, J., Crook, D., Dong, X., Dotterweich, M., Edwards, M., Foster, T., Gaillard, M-J., Galop, D., Gell, P., Gil, A., Jeffers, E., Jones, R., Anupama, K., Langdon, P., Marchant, R., Mazier, F., McLean, C., Nunes, L., Raman, S., Suryaprakash, I., Umer, M., Yang, X., Wang, R. & Zhang, R. 2015. Social-Ecological systems in the Anthropocene: The need for integrating social and biophysical records at regional scales. In The Anthropocene Review. 1-27

Samson, A. & Cooper, J., 2015. La Historia de Dos Islas en un Mar Compartido: investigaciones pasadas y futuras en el pasaje de la Mona. El Boletín del Museo del Hombre Dominicano 46, 25–46.

Cooper, J. & Isendahl, C. 2014. Thinking Back to Look Ahead. In Global Change. Vol 83. 19-23.

Cooper, J. 2013. Building Resilience in Island Communities: a paleotempestological perspective. In (eds L. Giosan et al.) Climates, Landscapes and Civiliazations. American Geophysical Union Special Monographs AGU, Washington D.C.

Samson, A.V.M., Cooper, J., Nieves, M.A., Rodriguez-Ramos, R. Kambesis, P. & Lace, M. 2013 Cavescapes in the pre-Columbian Caribbean. Antiquity. Vol 87 Issue 338.

Cooper, J. 2013. The Climatic Context for Caribbean Archaeology. In (eds.) Hofman, C., Keegan, W.F. & Rodriguez Ramos, R.) Oxford Handbook for Caribbean Archaeology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Cooper, J. 2012. Weathering climate change. The value of social memory and ecological knowledge. Archaeological Dialogues, 19: 46-51

Cooper, J. & Sheets, P. (eds). 2012 Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology. University of Colorado Press, Boulder.

Cooper, J. 2012. Fail to Prepare then Prepare to Fail: re-thinking threat, vulnerability and mitigation in the Precolumbian Caribbean. In (eds Cooper, J. & Sheets, P.) Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. 91-115.

Cooper J, and Thomas K. 2012. Constructing Caribbean Chronologies: comparative radiocarbon dating of shell and wood artefacts from precolumbian sites in Cuba. Archaeometry. 54:401-425.

Cooper, J. & Boothroyd, R. 2011. Living Islands of the Caribbean: A view of relative sea level change from the waters edge. In (eds Hofman, C. & van Duijvenbode, A.) Communities in Contact: Essays in archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnography of the Amerindian circum-Caribbean. Sidestone Press, Leiden. 393-406.

Cooper, J. 2011. Cultural Revival for Survival: pre-Columbian lessons for living through the impacts of climate change, in The Proceedings of the XXIII Congress of The International Association for Caribbean Archaeology. 24:127-37.

Cooper, J. & Peros, M. 2010. The Archaeology of Climate Change in the Caribbean. Journal of Archaeological Science. 37:1226–1232.

Cooper, J. 2010 Pre-Columbian Archaeology of Cuba: a study of national site distribution patterns and radiocarbon chronologies. In Island Shores, Distant Pasts: Archaeological and Biological Approaches to the Pre-Columbian Settlement of the Caribbean, edited by S. M. Fitzpatrick and A. H. Ross. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. Chapter 4. 81-107.

Cooper, J. 2010. Modelling Mobility and Exchange in Pre-Columbian Cuba: GIS led approaches to identifying pathways and reconstructing journeys from the archaeological record. In (eds. Hofman, C. & Bright, A.). A special edition for the Journal of Caribbean Archaeology. 122-137.

Valcárcel Rojas, R., Martinón-Torres, M., Cooper, J & Rehren, T. 2010. Turey Treasure in the Caribbean. In Beyond the Blockade: New Currents in Cuban Archaeology. (eds. Kepecs, S., Curet, A. & de la Rosa, G.). University of Alabama Press, Alabama. 106-125.

Cooper, J., Valcárcel Rojas, R. and Calvera Rosés, J. 2010. Recent Archaeological Fieldwork from the Region around Los Buchillones, an Indigenous Site on the north-central Cuban Coast. In Beyond the Blockade: New Currents in Cuban Archaeology. (eds. Kepecs, S., Curet, A. & de la Rosa, G.). University of Alabama Press, Alabama. 89-105.

Cooper, J. 2008. Creating Connections between Caribbean Islands: a case study from northern Cuba. In Comparative Island Archaeologies. (eds. Conolly, J. & Campbell, M.). British Archaeological Reports 1829. Chapter 9. 179-190.

Cooper, J., Martinón-Torres, M. & Valcárcel Rojas, R. 2008. American gold and European brass: metal objects and indigenous values in the cemetery of El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba. In (Eds Hofman, C., Hoogland, M. & Van Gijn, A.) Crossing the Borders: New Methods and Techniques in the Study of Archaeological Materials from the Caribbean. University of Alabama Press, Alabama. 34-42.

Martinón-Torres, M., Cooper, J., Valcarcel Rojas, R. and Rehren, T. 2008. Diversifying the Picture. Archaeology International. 10:37-40.

Cooper, J., Dawson, H. & Rennell, R. 2008. Forum for Island Research and Experience. The European Archaeologist. 30:6.

Cooper, J. 2007. Registro Nacional de Arqueología Aborigen de Cuba: una discusión de métodos y prácticas. El Caribe Arqueólogico 10:132-150.

Valcárcel Rojas, R., Martinón-Torres, M. Cooper, J. And Rehren, T. 2007. Oro, guanines y latón. Metales en contextos aborígenes de Cuba. El Caribe Arqueólogico 116-131.

Martinón-Torres, M., Valcárcel Rojas, R. Cooper, J. and T. Rehren. 2007. Metals, Microanalysis and Meaning: a study of metal objects excavated from the indigenous cemetery of El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba. Journal of Archaeological Science 34(2):194-204.

Calvera Rosés, J., Valcárcel Rojas, R. & Cooper J. 2006. Los Buchillones: Universo de Madera. Revista de Ciencias Sociales: ACRD. 9-16.

Cooper, J., R. Valcárcel Rojas and P. Cruz Ramírez. 2006. Gente en los Cayos: Los Buchillones y sus vínculos marítimos. El Caribe Arqueólogico 9:66-75.

Valcárcel Rojas, R., J. Cooper, J. Calvera Rosés, O. Brito and M. Labrada. 2006. Postes en el Mar: Excavación de una estructura constructiva aborigen en Los Buchillones. El Caribe Arqueólogico 9:76-88.

Cooper, J. & Dawson, H. 2004. A review of: Fitzpatrick, S. (ed.) 2004.Voyages of Discovery: The Archaeology of Islands. (eds. Clement, A. et al.) Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 15: 110-114.

Cooper, J. 2004. Islas y Isleños en el Caribe: Interacción a través del paisaje. El Caribe Arqueólogico 8:91-96.

Cooper, J. & Valcarcel Rojas, R. 2004. Pre-Hispanic Settlements Along the North Coast of Cuba: A Pilot Survey Report from Los Buchillones (eds.Clement, A. et al.) Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 15:77-81.