Much of Jamaican prehistoric research—like that in the rest of the Caribbean basin—has been guided by at least a subconscious attempt to allow prehistoric native peoples to find their places within the charts established by Irving Rouse, who guided Caribbean research for much of the last half-century. The pre-Columbian peoples of Jamaica, and not merely their material culture, are beginning to take form, revealing their lifestyles and rituals, and taking their rightful place among the cultures of the New World.
Pre-Columbian Jamaica represents the first substantial attempt to summarize the prehistoric evidence from the island in a single published account since J. E. Duerden’s invaluable 1897 article on the subject, which is also reprinted within this volume. The book is designed to provide general commentary that can stand alone and be read as a continuous narrative; and as an additional and valuable resource is the accompanying CD-ROM that furnishes a great range of further illustrations, data, calculations, measurements, and comparisons. This data is curated at the Archaeology Laboratory at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in Kingston, and was presented to the university by Dr. James Lee in 2000. His gift, and the comprehensive study that followed, provide the impetus for both the book and the CD-ROM.
List of Illustrations vii Acknowledgments xi The Lee Collection CD-ROM Inventory xiii i. Introduction I 2. History of Investigation 8 3. General Frameworks for Caribbean Prehistory 32 4. Environment, Fauna, and Flora 46 5. Nature of the Collection 6i 6. Mapping the Sites 75 7. Cultural Variants 84 8. Petroglyphs and Pictographs 104 9. Excavated Sites and Fauna in Io. Burials and Human Remains 124 ii. Conclusion 132 Appendix A. List of Principal Excavated Sites in Jamaica 135 Appendix B. Complete List of Sites by Parish with Lee Codes i89 Appendix C. List of Appendixes in the CD-ROM 195 Appendix D. Aboriginal Indian Remains in Jamaica byJ. E. Duerden.Journalof the Institute of Jamaica, 1897 199 References Cited 287 Index 309
"This welcome volume is the first systematic attempt to summarize all existing prehistoric evidence from the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Allsworth-Jones (Univ. of Sheffield) updates and supplements J. E. Duerden's seminal 1897 article, 'Aboriginal Indian Remains in Jamaica,' by including information on 271 sites and comprehensive data on 191 of them. Chapter 2 provides a brief overview of archaeological investigations on Jamaica; chapter 3 examines theoretical approaches to the study of Caribbean prehistory, with special attention to the approach of Irving Rouse (1913-2006). Perhaps Allsworth-Jones is too critical of Rouse, whose theoretical framework sustained productive archaeological research in the region for well over 50 years. Chapters 5-10 address the information contained on the included CD-ROM, and describe the contents of the James Lee Collection at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Chapter 8 is outstanding for its attention to Jamaican petroglyphs and pictographs; chapter 10 is notable for its focus on burials and human remains. Appendix D reprints Duerden's entire 1897 article. The book is well organized, clearly written, and accessible to lay readers. The accompanying CD provides invaluable illustrations, charts, calculations, and measurements from the Lee Collection that would otherwise have been too expensive to reproduce. James Lee would be very pleased. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries."
"Pre-Columbian Jamaica is the most comprehensive overview of archaeological research on the island to date. The CD-ROM is spectacular. . . . This extremely important book, which should make Jamaican archaeology more accessible to scholars and the general public, is especially significant as Caribbean archaeologists move away from broad regional frameworks and pay increasing attention to the specifics of more local areas. More comprehensive descriptions of local developments, interactions, and mobility should provide a better understanding of cultural dynamics in the pre-Columbian Caribbean."
--William F. Keegan, New West Indian Guide"Not only is this book and accompanying cd packed with information on some 271 excavated sites, it is exemplary in its multi-disciplinary approach to the interpretation of human interaction with the landscape, flora, and fauna of the island."—SALON