The People Who Discovered Columbus: The Prehistory of the Bahamas / Edition 1

The People Who Discovered Columbus: The Prehistory of the Bahamas / Edition 1

by William F. Keegan
     
 

 

For the Lucayan Arawaks of the Caribbean, the year 1492 marked the beginning of the end: the first people contacted by Christopher Columbus were the first extinguished. Within thirty years, a population of perhaps 80,000 had declined to, at most, a few refugees. Clearing new ground in the study of prehistoric societies, Keegan argues that a different

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Overview

 

For the Lucayan Arawaks of the Caribbean, the year 1492 marked the beginning of the end: the first people contacted by Christopher Columbus were the first extinguished. Within thirty years, a population of perhaps 80,000 had declined to, at most, a few refugees. Clearing new ground in the study of prehistoric societies, Keegan argues that a different perspective on the past provides an accurate portrait of a culture that became extinct almost 500 years ago.
 

Keegan terms his approach paleoethnography, developing a portrait of the past by linking archaeological field data and historical documents. The result, the first overview of the prehistory of the Bahamas, explains how and why the Bahamas were colonized by the Tainos almost 1,400 years ago. The portrait includes characteristics of the islands themselves, descriptions of how the Lucayans made their settlements, what they ate, how they organized in social groups, and how their population spread throughout the archipelago.
 

Keegan reconstructs Columbus’s voyage through the West Indies, raising questions about the explorer’s motivations and presenting a controversial theory about where, exactly, Columbus landed. Offering new perspectives on Caribbean prehistory to both scholars and general readers, the book ends with the Spaniards’ arrival and the Lucayans’ demise.

 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813011370
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
08/28/1992
Series:
Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series
Edition description:
First
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.14(d)
Lexile:
1340L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Figures
Maps
Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
1Before the Beginning: Native Peoples of the West Indies1
2Introduction to the Geology, Geography, Climate, and Ecology of the Pre-Columbian Bahamas20
3The Taino Colonization of the Bahamas48
4Settlement and Settlers: Lucayan Settlement Patterns65
5Honor Thy Mother's Brother: Lucayan Social and Political Organization91
6Diet for a Small Island: Lucayan Subsistence Economy113
7Population and Procreation: Lucayan Demography149
8Christopher Columbus and the City of Gold175
9Las Islas de Lucayos, 1499-1520206
10After the End: Reflections on a Paleoethnography224
Bibliography231
Index271

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