On Land and Sea: Native American Uses of Biological Resources in the West Indies
During the vast stretches of early geologic time, the islands of the Caribbean archipelago separated from continental land masses, rose and sank many times, merged with and broke from other land masses, and then by the mid-Cenozoic period settled into the current pattern known today. By the time Native Americans arrived, the islands had developed complex, stable ecosystems. The actions these first colonists took on the landscape—timber clearing, cultivation, animal hunting and domestication, fishing and exploitation of reef species—affected fragile land and sea biotic communities in both beneficial and harmful ways.
On Land and Sea examines the condition of biosystems on Caribbean islands at the time of colonization, human interactions with those systems through time, and the current state of biological resources in the West Indies. Drawing on a massive data set collected from long-term archaeological research, the study reconstructs past lifeways on these small tropical islands. The work presents a wide range of information, including types of fuel and construction timber used by inhabitants, cooking techniques for various shellfish, availability and use of medicinal and ritual plants, the effects on native plants and animals of cultivation and domestication, and diet and nutrition of native populations.
The islands of the Caribbean basin continue to be actively excavated and studied in the quest to understand the earliest human inhabitants of the New World. This comprehensive work will ground current and future studies and will be valuable to archaeologists, anthropologists, botanists, ecologists, Caribbeanists, Latin American historians, and anyone studying similar island environments.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 An Introduction to Native American Uses of Biological Resources in the West Indies
2 Environmental Setting
3 Human Colonization of the West Indies
4 Sources of Plant and Animal Samples and Methods Used to Study Them
5 Southern Caribbean Region
6 Lesser Antilles
7 Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands
8 Bahamas Archipelago
Other editions - View all
agouti animal remains Antillean archaeological sites Archaic Archaic-age archipelago areas Aruba associated Bahamas Bas Saline Bonaire Bronce Caicos Caribbean Caribbean Islands Ceramic Ceramic-age changes colonization conch crops cultural Curaçao deposits diverse dogs domestic dry forests edible evidence excavated Greater Antilles grouper groups guinea pigs habitats Haemulidae Hichmans Hispaniola human hutía identi¤ed invertebrates Keegan Labridae land crabs Lesser Antilles lignum-vitae Lutjanidae mainland Maisabel maize mangrove manioc marine mastic bully midden Name Common Name native Nevis Newsom Ortoiroid Ostionoid parrot¤shes pelagic plant remains plants and animals populations post-Saladoid presence proveniences Puerto Rico re®ect recovered region Reitz Saladoid Samana Cay samples Sapotaceae sea turtles seeds Serranidae settlements shallow inshore shell shing signi¤cance South America species specimens subsistence Subtotal Table Taino taxa terrestrial Tibes tion trees tropical tubers Tutu vegetation vertebrate Vieques Virgin Islands West Indian West Indies wild Wing wood