By William F. Keegan, Corinne L. Hofman
The islands of the Caribbean are remarkably various, environmentally and culturally. they vary from low limestone islands slightly above sea point to volcanic islands with mountainous peaks; from huge islands to small cays; from islands with tropical rainforests to these with desolate tract habitats. brand new population have both diversified tradition histories. The islands are domestic to a mosaic of indigenous groups and to the descendants of Spanish, French, Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish, Irish, African, East Indian, chinese language, Syrian, Seminole and different nationalities who settled there in the course of historical occasions. The islands are actually being homogenized, all to create a typical adventure for the Caribbean vacationer. there's a comparable try and homogenize the Caribbean's pre-Columbian prior. It used to be assumed that each new prehistoric tradition had constructed out of the tradition that preceded it. We now understand that way more complex approaches of migration, acculturation, and lodging happened. in addition, the overly simplistic contrast among the "peaceful Arawak" and the "cannibal Carib," which types the constitution for James Michener's Caribbean, nonetheless dominates renowned notions of precolonial Caribbean societies.
This publication records the variety and complexity that existed within the Caribbean ahead of the arriving of Europeans, and instantly thereafter. the range effects from diverse origins, varied histories, assorted contacts among the islands and the mainland, varied environmental stipulations, and transferring social alliances. equipped chronologically, from the arriving of the 1st humans-the paleo-Indians-in the 6th millennium BC to early touch with Europeans, The Caribbean ahead of Columbus offers a brand new historical past of the zone in accordance with the most recent archaeological proof. The authors additionally think of cultural advancements at the surrounding mainland, because the islands' heritage is a narrative of mobility and trade around the Caribbean Sea, and probably the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits. the result's the main up to date and entire survey of the richly advanced cultures who as soon as inhabited the six archipelagoes of the Caribbean.
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Additional resources for The Caribbean before Columbus
The second approach has focused on cultural systems. Practitioners of the second approach have emphasized modo de vida or ways of life in developing their classifications. This second approach is characteristic of research conducted by archaeologists in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, where their scholarship has been influenced significantly by Marxist theory. The product of this approach was socioeconomic stages of development that progressed through a sequence of dialectical transformations.
22 | The Caribbean before Columbus 23 CHAPTER 2 The Earliest Inhabitants The first humans to reach the Caribbean islands arrived in the fifth millennium bc. We know precious little about this time period; the reasons are multifaceted. First, most archaeological sites from this time period are located in Cuba and Hispaniola, where local archaeologists have conducted most of the investigations. Although their research is excellent, most of the reports are published in Spanish and often are not widely disseminated.
It was proposed, based on ethnographic examples, that there was a stronger reliance on the gathering of plants and small-â•‰game hunting (this shift apparently occurred in other parts of the world due to the extirpation of large game). The transition was marked by the introduction of ground-â•‰stone tools to the flaked-â•‰stone tool kit. Because Meso-â•‰Indians were living in South America until modern times (“Marginal Tribes,” Steward and Faron 1959), this framework was considered appropriate for characterizing the earliest inhabitants of the islands.