Saturday, 1:30 pm
Pre-Columbian Society Lecture
Cosmopolitan Polities of the Ancient Caribbean
Dr. Peter E. Siegel, Department of Anthropology, Montclair State University, leads this talk in room 345 in the Anthropology Department wing. Following the landing of Columbus on San Salvador, Bahamas, in 1492, most of the Caribbean islands had been visited by emissaries of the Spanish crown. Accounts written by Columbus, Las Casas, Oviedo, Martire, and Pané, among others, revealed the diverse range of complex and interacting polities of Taíno Indians located on Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Jostling for territories in circumscribed spaces like islands presented unique challenges to Taíno polities. Ambitious leaders followed an ideology of domination in their pursuit of followers and more territory. Evidence will be reviewed, including dramatic new archaeological finds from Puerto Rico, suggesting that such dynamics may have been crucial in the late pre-Columbian expansion of Taíno ideology into the far reaches of the Caribbean.
Dr. Peter Siegel is Professor and Chair of Anthropology and serves on the Steering Committee of the Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies at Montclair State University. He specializes in pre-Columbian archaeology and ethnography of the Caribbean and lowland South America. Free admission.