Dialogues in Cuban Archaeology

Overview

Provides a politically and historically informed review of Cuban archaeology, from both American and Cuban perspectives.

Many Americans are aware of the political, economic, and personal impacts of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. But the communication blockade between scholars has also affected the historical course of academic disciplines and research in general. With the easing of restrictions in the 1990s, academics are now freer to conduct ...

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Overview

Provides a politically and historically informed review of Cuban archaeology, from both American and Cuban perspectives.

Many Americans are aware of the political, economic, and personal impacts of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. But the communication blockade between scholars has also affected the historical course of academic disciplines and research in general. With the easing of restrictions in the 1990s, academics are now freer to conduct research in Cuba, and the Cuban government has been more receptive to collaborative projects.

This volume provides a forum for the principal Cuban and American archaeologists to update the current state of Cuban archaeological research—from rock art and potsherds to mortuary practices and historical renovation—thereby filling in the information gap created by the political separation. Each group of researchers brings significant new resources to the effort, including strong conservation regulations, innovative studies of lithic and shell assemblages, and transculturation theories. Cuban research on the hacienda system, slavery, and urban processes has in many ways anticipated developments in North American archaeology by a decade or more. Of special interest are the recent renovation projects in Old Havana that fully integrate the work of historians, architects, and archaeologists—a model project conducted by agreement between the Cuban government and UNESCO.

The selection of papers for this collection is based on a desire to answer pressing research questions of interest for North American Caribbeanists and to present a cross-section of Cuban archaeological work. With this volume, then, the principal players present results of recent collaborations and begin a renewed conversation, a dialogue, that can provide a foundation for future coordinated efforts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An invaluable source for revealing the range and diversity of Cuban archaeology to North American readers. This book also serves more broadly as a model for the integration of collaborative research across distinct cultures of archaeological and political practice.” —Kathleen Deagan, Florida Museum of Natural History

"A significant plank in what has thus far been a rather slim bridge across the communications gap. . . . What will be needed, if such communication is to have the breadth of effect that the quality and quantity of Cuban research merits, is an increased recognition on the part of non-Caribbeanists of what they can learn from the Cuban example. This volume takes an important step toward stimulating such recognition."
Journal of Field Archaeology

"For all . . . Caribbean and Southeastern researchers, this volume deserves your attention.  I hope we can all look back on this excellent volume as a starting point in the reopening of communications."—Southeastern Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817351878
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Antonio Curet is Assistant Curator of Archaeology at the Field Museum and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is author of Caribbean Paleodemography: Population, Culture History, and Sociopolitical Processes in Ancient Puerto Rico. Shannon Lee Dawdy is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences in The College, University of Chicago. Gabino La Rosa Corzo was Research Archaeologist at the Centro de Antropologia in Havana and author of Runaway Slave Settlements in Cuba:  Resistance and Repression.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Three stages in the history of Cuban archaeology 29
3 The organization of Cuban archaeology : context and brief history 41
4 Historical archaeology in Cuba 62
5 Cave encounters : rock art research in Cuba 72
6 Approaches to early ceramics in the Caribbean : between diversity and unilineality 103
7 El Chorro de Maita : social inequality and mortuary space 125
8 Mythical expressions in the ceramic art of agricultural groups in the prehistoric antilles 147
9 Subsistence of Cimarrones : an archaeological study 163
10 An archaeological study of slavery at a Cuban coffee plantation 181
Afterword 200
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