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Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History, Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History, 0817317023, 0-8173-1702-3, 978-0-8173-1702-7, 9780817317027, , , Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History, 0817356096, 0-8173-5609-6, 978-0-8173-5609-5, 9780817356095, , , Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History, 0817383271, 0-8173-8327-1, 978-0-8173-8327-5, 9780817383275,

Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History
Reniel Rodríguez Ramos

2010. 288 pp.
Price:  $49.95 s
Quality Paper
2010. 288 pp.
Price:  $29.95 s
E Book
2010. 288 pp.
Price:  $29.95 d

The history of Puerto Rico has usually been envisioned as a sequence of colonizations-various indigenous peoples from Archaic through Taíno were successively invaded, assimilated, or eliminated, followed by the Spanish entrada, which was then modified by African traditions and, since 1898, by the United States. The truth is more complex, but in many ways Puerto Rico remains one of the last colonies in the world. This volume focuses on the successive indigenous cultures of Puerto Rico prior to 1493.
Traditional studies of the cultures of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean have centered on ceramic studies, based on the archaeological model developed by Irving Rouse which has guided Caribbean archaeology for decades. Rodríguez Ramos departs from this methodology by implementing lithics as the primary unit for tracing the origins and developments of the indigenous peoples of Puerto Rico. Analyzing the technological styles involved in the production of stone artifacts in the island through time, as well as the evaluation of an inventory of more than 500 radiocarbon dates recovered since Rouse's model emerged, the author presents a truly innovative study revealing alternative perspectives on Puerto Rico's pre-Columbian culture-historical sequence. By applying a multiscalar design, he not only not only provides an analysis of the plural ways in which the precolonial peoples of the island interacted and negotiated their identities but also shows how the cultural landscapes of Puerto Rico, the Antilles, and the Greater Caribbean shaped and were shaped by mutually constituting processes through time.

Reniel Rodríguez Ramos, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Puerto Rico, Utuado and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology of the University of Leiden.

"This interesting, informative book seeks to free Caribbean archaeological research from the standard tropes that have shaped understanding of the region's precolonial past. A Puerto Rican anthropologist, Ramos (Univ. of Puerto Rico, Utuado) aims to build a truly indigenous archaeology that emanates from the inside. His politically charged study offers a critical perspective on the practice of archaeology in the colonial and postcolonial Caribbean. Puerto Rico's historical and archaeological narrative advances the idea that invaders conquered the island for millennia. Ramos deconstructs this narrative to show how it helped naturalize the island's colonial psyche and segregate Puerto Rico from the broader geographic region. Examining the ancient Archaic-age past, Ramos challenges the ceramic-centered work of Caribbean archaeologist Irving Rouse, highlighting lithic evidence and exploring radiocarbon data to show that Archaic-age peoples in Puerto Rico produced ceramics and pursued agricultural activities prior to the arrival of the Cedrosan Saladoid (the group typically credited with introducing ceramics and agriculture in late precolonial times). Moreover, Ramos uses the evidence to reveal broad precolonial Caribbean networks and interaction spheres that incorporate new areas of the South and Central American mainland. Theoretically engaging and methodologically rigorous, the book offers fresh insights into key debates in Caribbean archaeology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."

"I predict this work will become a classic in due time, and a book that will have to be quoted for a long, long time to come."--Jose Oliver, Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London

“These types of critiques and revisions are what makes science move forward. Rodriguez Ramos' comprehensive review and analysis of the data will definitely shake our perceptions or Caribbean archaeology."--L. Antonio Curet, Field Museum

"This book revolutionizes the cultural geography of the precolonial Caribbean, and is the latest and most forceful proponent of a paradigm shift [that] has seen Caribbean scholars break out of their traditional culture area and move away from pottery-based histories of migration. . . . This is an engagingly written book, and well-timed with respect to the accumulation of new evidence. It is also an inspiring contribution whose aim to 'decolonize' Puerto Rican and Caribbean archaeology will provoke new research questions and lines of hypothesis-testing."--Antiquity

Also of Interest

Aborigines of Puerto Rico and Neighboring Islands
by Jesse Walter Fewkes

Caribbean Paleodemography
by L. Antonio Curet

Ancient Borinquen
Edited by Peter E. Siegel

Caciques and Cemi Idols
Jose R Oliver