The Caribbean and the Beginnings of American Archaeology and Anthropology

Author(s): Juan-Jose Ortiz-Aguilu

Year: 2016


Both American and native Caribbean scholars and amateurs of different capacities and experience contributed to the formation of the discipline of Archaeology in the region, especially in Puerto Rico and Cuba. Before 1920 came around, these islands had seen the likes of John Wesley Powell, William H. Holmes, Jesse Walter Fewkes, John Alden Mason and none other than Franz Boas himself. The interesting thing is that these people not only did what they did, but that the Caribbean, its data and the information provided by the local amateurs and scholars, contributed considerably to the formation of these legendary figures and their eventual contribution to the discipline. Venturing into the Caribbean at this time was definitely due to the results of the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the acquisition of Puerto Rico as war booty, the total control of Cuba (for a while) and geopolitical domination of the whole region by the U.S. It has been a very little known chapter in the history of American Anthropology and Archaeology.

Cite this Record

The Caribbean and the Beginnings of American Archaeology and Anthropology. Juan-Jose Ortiz-Aguilu. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403159)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;