Society and Politics at the Center of the Cosmos: The Archaeological Project of the Ceremonial Center of Tibes, Ponce, Puerto Rico by L. Antonio Curet, PhD
Meeting is located at The Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.
For over 15 years the Archaeological Project of the Ceremonial Center of Tibes in Ponce, Puerto Rico has been studying the changes, processes, and conditions for the development of social stratification in the region. Located in southern Puerto Rico, Tibes is, to date, the oldest civic ceremonial site on the island. Research suggests that the site may have began as a small settlement and around AD 900-1000 experienced a change in the use of space that included the construction of multiple ballcourts and plazas. Because of these changes, Tibes was selected for study as it appeared to be the ideal place to study social changes and the development of stratification. From its inception, the project has successfully developed a multi-stage, multi-disciplinary, and multi-scalar approach that has led to a better, but still incomplete, understanding of the social and political conditions of pre-contact societies of the region. This presentation will begin with a general overview of the ancient history of Puerto Rico, will continue with a summary of the project’s aims, goals, strategies, and finds, and will end with a discussion of our interpretations of the evidence at hand.
L. Antonio Curet is a Curator of the National Museum of the American Indian. He was born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras where he obtained his BA and MA in Chemistry. Curet received his PhD in 1992 from Arizona State University. His research focuses on cultural and social change in the ancient Caribbean, but he has participated also in archaeological projects in Arizona and Veracruz, Mexico. He has directed several projects including excavations at La Gallera, Ceiba, Puerto Rico and the Archaeological Project of the Valley of Maunabo. Since 1995 he has conducted excavations at the Ceremonial Center of Tibes, Ponce, Puerto Rico and in 2013 began co-directing a regional project in the Valley of Añasco in Western Puerto Rico. Curet has published multiple articles in national and international journals, a book on Caribbean paleodemography, and has edited volumes on Cuban archaeology, the archaeology of Tibes, Puerto Rico, and long-distance interaction in the Caribbean.