Caribbean Prehistoric Domestic Architecture: A Study of Spatio-Temporal Dynamics and Acculturation

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ABSTRACT

The study of settlement geography, demography and social behavior in the
prehistoric Carib and Taíno societies of the Caribbean has recently become a prominent domain of interest to archaeologists working in these islands. Archaeological floor plans for prehistoric houses within the islands of St. Eustatius, Barbados, St. Thomas, Cuba and Puerto Rico demonstrate the cultural continuity of house shape, settlement organization and social organization from the early Saladoid to the contact period. These data support a model of Taíno settlements with multiple house forms, not only the bohio and caney forms recorded after contact, but oval and rectangular forms that indicate a social hierarchy and an indigenous origin for the complex settlement organization revealed in archaeological excavation.

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