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Tibes, Tibes, 0817316868, 0-8173-1686-8, 978-0-8173-1686-0, 9780817316860, , , Tibes, 0817355790, 0-8173-5579-0, 978-0-8173-5579-1, 9780817355791, , , Tibes, 0817382526, 0-8173-8252-6, 978-0-8173-8252-0, 9780817382520,

People, Power, and Ritual at the Center of the Cosmos
Edited by L. Antonio Curet and Lisa M. Stringer

2009. 352 pp.
Price:  $59.95 s
Quality Paper
2009. 348 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2009. 348 pp.
Price:  $39.95 d

The first comprehensive analysis of a strategically located ceremonial center on the island of Puerto Rico.

The prehistoric civic-ceremonial center of Tibes is located on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, just north of the modern coastal city of Ponce. Protected on two sides by a river, and on the other two sides by hills, this approximately 10.5-acre site remains as fertile and productive today as when first occupied over 2,000 years ago. Such a rich region would have been a choice location for native peoples because of the diversity in all resources, from land, air, and sea--and also symbolically crucial as a liminal space within the landscape. It may have been regarded as a space charged with numen or cosmic energy where different parts of the cosmos (natural vs. supernatural, or world of the living vs. world of the dead) overlap. Archaeological evidence reveals a long occupation, about 1,000 years, possibly followed by an extensive period of sporadic ceremonial use after the site itself was practically abandoned.

In this volume, nineteen Caribbeanists, across a wide academic spectrum, examine the geophysical, paleoethnobotanical, faunal, lithics, base rock, osteology, bone chemistry and nutrition, social landscape, and ceremonial constructs employed at Tibes. These scholars provide a concise, well-presented, comprehensive analysis of the evidence for local level changes in household economy, internal organization, accessibility to economic, religious, and symbolic resources related to the development and internal operation of socially stratified societies in the Caribbean.

L. Antonio Curet is Assistant Curator in the Department of Anthropology at The Field Museum, Chicago, and author of Caribbean Paleodemography: Population, Culture History, and Sociopolitical Processes in Ancient Puerto Rico.

Lisa M. Stringer is Associate in the Department of Anthropology at The Field Museum.


"This volume is a landmark not only for furthering our understanding of the social and political dynamics of people engaged in the practice of coping with each other and the cosmos, but also because it demonstrates the kinds of methods that are critical to use in constructing believable narratives about the organization of ancient cultures."
--Peter E. Siegel, Montclair State University

“The volume brings new perspectives to the study of Greater Antillean sites usually lumped under the term ‘ceremonial centers’ despite their significant differences. The essays show definitively that ceremonial centers with ball courts had a long history before Spanish colonizers described them, and reveal something about the nature of indigenous political and symbolic organization. Highly recommended.”—CHOICE

Also of Interest

Aborigines of Puerto Rico and Neighboring Islands
by Jesse Walter Fewkes

Ancient Borinquen
Edited by Peter E. Siegel

Rethinking Puerto Rican Precolonial History
Reniel Rodríguez Ramos

Protecting Heritage in the Caribbean
Edited by Peter E. Siegel, Elizabeth Righter