The Earliest Inhabitants: The Dynamics of the Jamaican Taino

The Earliest Inhabitants: The Dynamics of the Jamaican Taino

By Lesley-Gail Atkinson
US$ 9.99
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Book Description

Atkinson (Jamaica National Heritage Trust) has edited a long-overdue compilation of archaeological studies tracing the prehistory of Jamaica's indigenous population, the Taino (incorrectly referred to in the past as "Arawak"). Since half of the 14 articles are reprinted "classic" studies dating as far back as 1976, this volume does not eliminate confusion over nomenclature. The new contributions are based on archaeological research over the past decade. Together, the well-illustrated articles provide a neglected and nearly comprehensive overview of research issues as seen in both historical and current perspective. Organized into four thematic sections--"Assessment and Excavation of Taino Sites," "Taino Exploitation of Natural Resources," "Analysis of Taino Archaeological Data," and "Taino Art Forms"--the book provides an essential background for understanding the prehistoric evidence of the island's earliest occupation, beginning about 600 BCE. Scant attention is given to the postcontact century (or longer) survival of Taino culture, and there is no mention of possible interactions with the African-derived culture of Jamaican Maroons. The volume does introduce readers to issues facing the cultural preservation of Jamaica's archaeological heritage, making a compelling case for increasing government support. Summing Up: Recommended. All

Table of Contents
  • Contents
  • Illustrations
  • Tables
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Section 1. Assessment and Excavation of Taíno Sites
    • 1. The Development of Jamaican Prehistory
    • 2. The Taíno Settlement of the Kingston Area
    • 3. The Pre-Columbian Site of Chancery Hall, St Andrew
    • 4. Excavations at Green Castle, St Mary
    • 5. The Impact of Land-Based Development on Taíno Archaeology in Jamaica
  • Section 2. Taíno Exploitation of Natural Resources
    • 6. Notes on the Natural History of Jamaica
    • 7. The Exploitation and Transformation of Jamaica’s Natural Vegetation
    • 8. Early Arawak Subsistence Strategies: The Rodney’s House Site of Jamaica
  • Section 3. Analysis of Taíno Archaeological Data
    • 9. Petrography and Source of Some Arawak Rock Artefacts from Jamaica
    • 10. Jamaican Taíno Pottery
    • 11. Jamaican Redware
    • 12. Taíno Ceramics from Post-Contact Jamaica
  • Section 4. Taíno Art Forms
    • 13. The Petroglyphs of Jamaica
    • 14. Zemís, Trees and Symbolic Landscapes: Three Taíno Carvings from Jamaica
  • References
  • Contributors
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