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Beyond the Blockade

New Currents in Cuban Archaeology

Edited by Susan Kepecs, L. Antonio Curet, and Gabino La Rosa Corzo, with contrib

Publication Year: 2010

This innovative volume builds on dialogues opened in recent years between Cuban archaeologists, whose work has long been carried out behind closed doors, and their international colleagues.  The chapters included herein span a wide range of subjects across the full chronological spectrum.  Most were written by emerging Cuban professionals who are breaking new ground; a few were penned by long-time leaders in the field.


Issues addressed by the 17 contributors represented in this collection include the long-term cultural and intellectual links between Florida and Cuba, which influence shared research goals today; the limitations of theoretical frameworks for archaeology defined in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, and how to overcome them; the challenges involved in charting out the earliest human occupations on the island; the processes of Indo-Hispanic transculturation during the Colonial epoch; late pre-Colombian links between the Taínos of eastern Cuba and the rest of the Greater Antilles; and the theoretical and practical tensions between architectural restoration and the practice of scientific urban historical archaeology.  Thus this volume makes a crucial contribution to the field of archaeology on many fronts, not the least of which is the sharing of information across the blockade.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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1. Introduction: New Currents in Cuban archaeology

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pp. 1-12

This volume is the result of a symposium, “Archaeology Behind the Blockade: New Research in Cuba,” which we organized with our friend and colleague Gabino La Rosa (professor emeritus, Center for Anthropology, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, Havana; currently affiliated with the History Section of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba ...

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2. Prologue: Homage to Dr. Betty Meggers

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pp. 13-15

I was asked to prepare an homage to Dr. Betty Meggers for the symposium on recent advances in Cuban archaeology organized by Drs. Curet and Kepecs for the 2006 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. How strange to find my visa request denied, when I planned to honor a woman ...

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3. Cuba and Florida: Entwined Histories of Historical Archaeologies

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pp. 16-25

In this essay I offer observations on the close developmental and intellectual connections in historical archaeology between Cuba and Florida, beginning in the 1940s. Historical archaeology as a field of study became quasi-formalized in both Cuba and North America during the late 1960s, ...

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4. La Loma del Convento: Its Centrality to Current Issues in Cuban Archaeology

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pp. 26-46

La Loma del Convento is a prominent late-period site on the south-central Cuban coast. Research there during the 1970s and 1980s produced one of the most useful cultural chronologies for the Cuban “agroalfarero” stage. Evidence from the site is central to discussions of the Arawakan expansion and the rise of sociocultural complexity on the island. ...

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5. New Early Tradition Stone Tool Industries in Cuba

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pp. 47-69

Until 1988, only the lithic industries of the Seboruco-Mord

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6. Investigations at Laguna de Limones: Suggestions for a Change in the Theoretical Direction of Cuban Archaeology

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pp. 70-88

The site of Laguna de Limones, at the far eastern end of Cuba, is located among a group of Cuba’s most important archaeological sites. The presence of a ceremonial plaza of great dimensions and various adjacent settlements makes this site an ideal location for testing a new theoretical focus related to hierarchical organization within the tribal socioeconomic model. ...

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7. Recent Archaeological Fieldwork from the Region Around Los Buchillones: An Indigenous Site on the North-Central Cuban Coast

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pp. 89-105

We summarize here some of the results of recent collaborative archaeological research at and around the site of Los Buchillones in northern Cuba. The excavation of wooden structural posts at the site reveals aspects of house size and structural design. A coastal survey indicates the potential size of this coastal site. ...

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8. Turey Treasure in the Caribbean: Brass and Indo-Hispanic Contact at el Chorro de Ma

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pp. 106-125

Based on the interpretive possibilities offered by a group of European metal assemblage found in association with an indigenous cemetery, we present an analysis of Indo-Hispanic contact at the archaeological site of El Chorro de Ma

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9. The Archaeology of Escaped Slaves: Utensils for Resistance

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pp. 126-142

This chapter is based on a study of 30 archaeological sites used by escaped slaves (maroons; cimarrones in Spanish) in the region known as the uplands of Havana—Matanzas, Cuba. I evaluate the potential of historical archaeology as a scientific tool for reconstructing the daily lives, defense tactics, ...

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10. Built Patrimony and Historical Archaeology: Problematic Relations in Working with the Past

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pp. 143-162

In this chapter I analyze the problematic relationships that can occur between the practices of archaeology and restoration, if we admit the current demands of disciplinary development and take into account the notion of minimum intervention proposed in international documents that set standards for working with national patrimonies. ...

References Cited

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pp. 163-188


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pp. 189-192


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pp. 193-206

E-ISBN-13: 9780817384920
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817356330

Page Count: 206
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 772459660
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Beyond the Blockade

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Subject Headings

  • Archaeology and history -- Florida.
  • Cuba -- History.
  • Cuba -- Antiquities.
  • Cuba -- Relations -- Florida.
  • Florida -- Relations -- Cuba.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Cuba.
  • Heritage tourism -- Cuba.
  • Archaeology -- Research -- Cuba.
  • Ethnoarchaeology -- Cuba.
  • Archaeology and history -- Cuba.
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