This book on Pre-Columbian Jamaica represents the first substantial attempt to summarize the prehistoric evidence from the island in one single published account since J. E. Duerden's invaluable article on the subject in 1897. The book is designed to provide a general commentary, which can be read right through as a continuous narrative. It can stand on its own if so desired, but that would not be to make the best use of it, since it comes together with a CD-ROM. Here the reader will find exhaustive information on 271 sites in Jamaica and on the material evidence from 191 of them. This material is now stored at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in Kingston. It was presented to the university by James Lee in the year 2000, and the study of this material provided the impetus both for this book and for the CD-ROM. It is a matter for regret that he did not live to see the final publication, but he knew that it was on the way.
James Lee was a professional geologist who came to Jamaica in 1951 and worked here almost continuously until his retirement in 1986, as an employee of the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation. During this time he was able to pursue his interest in archaeology and in particular the Pre-Columbian settlement of the island. His principal aim was to locate and accurately map all the known sites and to investigate any new ones that were brought to his attention. In 1965 he founded the Archaeological Club of Jamaica, which in 1970 became the Archaeological Society of Jamaica. He edited and almost singlehandedly produced the newsletter “Archaeology Jamaica” from 1965 to 1986.