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PCSNY October 2 Lecture-L. Antonio Curet

October 2, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Trouble in Paradise: History and Disaster at the Ceremonial Center of Tibes, Puerto Rico

L. Antonio Curet, Curator, National Museum of the American Indian

Aerial photograph of the ceremonial center of Tibes, Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of City of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Abstract. The archaeological site of Tibes, located in southern Puerto Rico, is to date the earliest ceremonial center in the Caribbean. It consists of nine stone structures and includes a variety of archaeological deposits. The information at hand suggests that the site began as a village around AD 500 and it acted as a ceremonial center from AD 900 to 1250, when it was abandoned. Traditionally, this shift has been interpreted by scholars as evidence of the development of social stratification. However, evidence obtained by the current project questions this interpretation and is proposing a new explanation based on evidence of a hurricane of high intensity.

Speaker Biography. L. Antonio Curet is a Curator of the National Museum of the American Indian. He was born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico in 1960 and attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. in Chemistry. Curet received his Ph.D. in 1992 from Arizona State University.  He was part of the faculty at Gettysburg College (1993-1996) and University of Colorado at Denver (1996-2000).  From 2000 to 2013 he was Curator at the Field Museum and Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and DePaul University.  His research focuses on cultural and social change in the Ancient Caribbean, but he has participated also in archaeological projects in Arizona, Puerto Rico, 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 been conducting 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. He is also in the editorial boards of the Journal for Caribbean ArchaeologyRevista Arqueológica del Area Intermedia, and Latin American AntiquityAntípoda(Universidad de los Andes, Colombia) and is the editor of the Caribbean Archaeology and Ethnohistory Book Series of the University of Alabama Press.

Monday October 2, 2023

6:00 pm EST


Institute of Fine Arts-NYU




October 2, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Pre-Columbian Society of New York


Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 E. 78th Street
New York, United States
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