Puerto Real: The Archaeology of a Sixteenth-Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola

Puerto Real: The Archaeology of a Sixteenth-Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola

Puerto Real: The Archaeology of a Sixteenth-Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola

Puerto Real: The Archaeology of a Sixteenth-Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola


"A superb presentation of a critically important archaeological site. It's a seamless synthesis of Hispanic historical sources [that] effectively ties the events played out at Puerto Real to the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century global geopolitical scene."--David Hurst Thomas, curator of anthropology, American Museum of Natural History

Puerto Real, Haiti, is the site of the largest and most intensive archaeological excavation of any Spanish colony in the Caribbean. It is a primary data source for understanding all Spanish colonial ventures in the region and a vital archival source for anyone concerned with the early history of European colonization in the New World.
The essays were written by the international specialists who carried out the fieldwork. They include a first-hand account by William H. Hodges, who discovered the site and brought it to the attention of archaeologists in Haiti and the United States, and discussion of the multiracial interactions of the Spaniards, American Indians, and Africans who lived there. Contents
Part 1: The Contexts and Background of Puerto Real
How We Found Puerto Real, by William H. Hodges
Historical Archaeology at Puerto Real, by Kathleen Deagan
The Natural and Cultural Settings of Puerto Real, by William H. Hodges, Kathleen Deagan, and Elizabeth Reitz
A General History of Puerto Real, by William H. Hodges and Eugene Lyon
Part 2: Community Organization and the Public Sector
Spatial Patterning and Community Organization at Puerto Real, by Maurice Williams
Empire and Architecture at Puerto Real: The Archaeology of Public Space, by Raymond F. Willis
Archaeology in the Public Sector: Building B, by Rochelle Marrinan
Part 3: The Spanish Households of Puerto Real
Spanish Precedents and Domestic Life at Puerto Real: The Archaeology of Two Spanish Homesites, by Bonnie G. McEwan
Merchants and Cattlemen: The Archaeology of a Commercial Structure at Puerto Real, by Kathleen Deagan and Elizabeth J. Reitz
Part 4: Syntheses
Animals, Environment, and the Spanish Diet at Puerto Real, by Elizabeth J. Reitz and Bonnie G. McEwan
Indians and Africans at Puerto Real: The Ceramic Evidence, by Greg C. Smith
Part 5: Epilogue
The Aftermath of Puerto Real: Archaeology at Bayah , by Jennifer M. Hamilton and William H. Hodges
After Columbus: The Sixteenth-Century Spanish-Caribbean Frontier, by Kathleen Deagan

Kathleen Deagan is curator of historical archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, and the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including Sourcebook on Spanish St. Augustine, Spanish St. Augustine: The Archaeology of a Colonial Creole Community, and Archaeology at the National Greek Orthodox Shrine, St. Augustine, Florida (UPF, 1976).


Kathleen Deagan

In 1975, in a remote corner of Haiti, William Hodges stumbled almost unexpectedly upon the ruins of the long-lost and nearly forgotten Spanish city of Puerto Real. the city, an outpost of the Spanish empire inhabited by Spaniards, American Indians, and Africans, had existed on the northern coast of what is today Haiti between 1503 and 1578. Abandoned for more than four centuries, Puerto Real was a starkly tangible remnant of a very early chapter in European-American history--the rise and decline of the Spanish empire in the Caribbean.

Hodges, a medical missionary and lifelong avocational scholar of the Spanish presence in Haiti, discovered Puerto Real while searching for an even earlier remnant of the Spanish empire--the lost fort of La Navidad. This fort had been established by Christopher Columbus in 1492 when the Santa Maria wrecked off the coast near Puerto Real. While continuing to search for Columbus's settlement, Hodges and his family carried out preliminary tests at Puerto Real to determine its archaeological nature. When they had documented the magnitude of the find, Hodges contacted Charles Fairbanks of the University of Florida, who accepted the invitation to join forces with Hodges in the study of the Spanish town. the result was a seven-year-long interdisciplinary study of Puerto Real, conducted by a variety of archaeologists, historians, zooarchaeologists, and architects.

This volume represents a synthesis of the results of that research and the presentation of an archaeologically grounded social history and historical ethnography of one of the earliest European towns in . . .

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