Irving Rouse-The Tainos – Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. Information on tainos. Drawing on archeological and ethno-historical evidence, Irving Rouse sketches a picture of the Tainos as they existed during the time of Columbus, contrasting. How to Cite: Delle, J.A., The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus by Irving Rouse, Yale University Press, New Haven.

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Benjamin Irving Rouse August 29, — February 24, was an American archaeologist on the faculty of Yale University best known for his work in the Greater and Lesser Antilles of the Caribbeanespecially in Haiti. He also conducted fieldwork in Florida and Venezuela. He made major contributions to the development of archaeological theorywith a special emphasis on taxonomy and classification of archaeological materials and studies of human migration.

Irving Rouse – Wikipedia

His maternal grandfather was Czech. Tue Rouse began his academic career studying forestry and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in plant science from Yale University ‘s Sheffield Scientific School in Rouse identifies his background in botany as a major factor in his lifelong interest in classification and taxonomy.

As an undergraduate, he worked at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History cataloging archaeological specimens. A Study in Methodthe second an application of these methods entitled Culture of the Ft. Atinos receiving his Ph. He was promoted to associate curator and research associate While employed at the museum, Rouse also taught courses in anthropologybeginning as an instructor in anthropology fromadvancing to Assistant ProfessorAssociate ProfessorProfessorand finally becoming Charles Roue.

MacCurdy Professor of Anthropologyholding this position until his retirement in Rouse was a major contributor to the study of Caribbean archaeologyand his contribution to this field began with his dissertation, which was broken down into two parts and dealt with the culture of the Ft. The first segment of his dissertation is a definition of the methods he would use in studying the cultures of this region titled Prehistory in Haiti: A Study in Method In the second segment of his dissertation, a tainoz titled Culture of the Ft.

The first culture he classifies is the Couri culture. Most of the evidence about Couri culture comes in the form of material culturedefined by Rouse as concerning “standards observable in the artefacts [sic] of the sites under study” [11] He irvinb sixteen “types” of artifacts defined here as “the set of standards to which the artifacts as a whole conform”, [12] mostly flintbut some ground stone and shell artifacts as txinos. The flint artifacts included daggers, knives, and scrapers, which were often large and crude.

Irving Rouse

These flint irvinv and jrving are the only evidence present that might indicate warfare. The ground stone artifacts included stone axes and various types of hammer-grinders, beads, and other small objects. These objects would have been made through either flaking, battering, or grinding techniques. Some of the smaller stone balls might be evidence of some sort of game or entertainment activity.

There tanios evidence of a workshop for the manufacture of the axes in the area, however it appears that the flint objects were made elsewhere, indicating that there was probably some sort of trade system in place. Both shell objects are made from conch shellsand there is evidence of a well developed art design, as the pendant is decorated with parallel and zig-zagged bands.

Not much about the non-material culture of the Couri defined by Rouse as “concerned with customs which have been rousse by artifacts [13] is known. Rouse was unable to discover any definitive linguistic information about the Couri, nor was he able to find information about their clothing, shelter, or population.

He suspected the Couri groups were semi-nomadic and band-like in structure due to the small, shallow nature of the sites excavated. He believes that the concept of private property may have had a role in the Couri culture, giving the stone beads and stone and shell pendants as examples. He was unable to discern anything about the religion practiced by the Couri groups, if that concept existed at all for them. The second culture Rouse identifies is called the Meillac group.


In his excavations Rouse was able to recover 9, artifacts, over 9, of which were pottery sherds. These sherds were classified into 30 types.

Most if the Meillac cultural material consisted of cooking pottery and “clay griddle”. One particular type of cooking pottery that was popular in the region both in taiinos Meillac and Carrier groups discussed below was the “pepper pot”, a vessel in which most of their prepared food was made.

Stone tools were rare, but some were recovered throughout the course rosue excavation. The flint tools that were recovered were similar to those represented in the Couri group, but the ground-stone artifacts were more developed than their Couri predecessors. Coral was utilized for the first time in the region by the Meillac groups, who used unworked coral as “rasps” and picks.

Rouse identifies the Meillac groups as sedentary agriculturist, who relied not only on shellfish, seafood, and birds for subsistence, but they also probably cultivated corn and manioc and collected wild vegetables. Social organization would have been well developed and similar to that of historical times. He believed that they would have likely spoken the Arawak language, as they were likely the predecessors of the Carrier people, who spoke Arawak. The population of Meillac groups must have been many times larger than the tsinos of Couri groups.

People would have lived in small villages, presumably in some sort of small structure, although the only evidence we have regarding shelter comes from small middens. Trade would have been prevalent based on the presence exotic pottery types. Rouse believed that the attire of the groups would have been very light, as there is no evidence of clothing production. Evidence of 9 burials were recovered 8 of which were inhumationswhich indicates some concept of life after death.

There also appears to be evidence of a very early stage of the worship of zemisIrcing historical deities, although this concept would have been in the early rose of development.

There was some evidence of cutting on human remains found at Meillac sites, leading Rouse to believe that cannibalism may have been occurring. Tainis hypothesizes that this is not out of need for food, but itving as some sort of ritual with supernatural significance. He notes, however, that there is no historical evidence for cannibalism. The final group examines by Rouse in his dissertation is called the Carrier group.

During excavation of Carrier sites, Rouse recovered 2, artifacts, over 2, of which were thhe classified into 23 types. Artifacts came in the form of the aforementioned pottery sherds, flint tools, royse artifacts, and shell artifacts. Bone artifact were rare. The flint artifacts were similar in form to both the Couri and Meillac flint artifacts, while the ground-stone tools were taibos to the Meillac ground-stone artifacts.

The most elaborate types of artifact were the cooking pots, which included pepper pots similar to those found at Meillac sites. The tainks art known from these groups comes from decoration on cooking pots, which included linear geometric drawings and modeled heads. Rouse believes that Carrier people spoke the Arawak language, and were sedentary agriculturalist who hunted small animals and shellfish and, like Meillac groups, cultivated manioc and corn, along with other wild vegetables.

Social organization would have been similar to Meillac group social structure, with people living houses grouped into villages. Like with the Meillac groups, Rouse believes there may be evidence for cannibalism. Rouse began doing fieldwork in the Caribbean inwhen he worked in Haiti on the material that would lead to his dissertation.

It was through the taihos obtained from this project that Rouse developed a theory that different assemblages were not the result of different migrations a theory held by a mentor of his, Froelich Raineybut were instead the result riuse a single line of development. This event sparked a lifelong interest in identifying migrations of people and understanding the reason for migrations of human populations. Osgood’s segment was titled The Ciboney Culture of Cayo Redondo, Cuba which focused on the classification of a collection of stone, shell, coral, and bone objects from the Cayo Redondo excavation in western Cuba.

He returned to the island in to do some additional work with John Goggin. Cruxent on a publication examining Venezuelan archaeology. In this publication, Rouse and Cruxent identify two ways in which cultures can be classified: The authors identify four major epochs chronological classification to which the remains of each distinct group of people with distinct cultural traits ethnic classification will be assigned.


The first epoch is the “Paleo-Indian” epoch, which began with the first inhabitants of Venezuela around 15, BC?. These people were big game hunters. The only ethnic “series” that belongs in the Douse epoch is the Juboid series. The Meso-Indian epoch began about BC. It was a time when hunting was emphasized, as evidenced by iving points uncovered during excavation. They were not hunting the same type of taino animals as the Paleo-Indians were, as that food source became extinct by the time the Meso-Indian epoch started.

The Tainos: Rise & Decline of the People who Greeted Columbus – Irving Rouse – Google Books

Sites were identified largely by large piles of shells, which also indicated a reliance upon seafood as a source of subsistence.

The Manicauroid series was the only ethnic series that fit in the Meso-Indian epoch. The third epoch, the Neo-Indian epoch, was characterized by the sufficient development of agriculture as a means to replace hunting as the principle mean of subsistence. This epoch began at roughly BC and included 10 ethnic series: In Rouse had a heart attack while on a project in Antigua, signaling the end to his fieldwork career. Tye project was not a total disaster, however. As a result of the research done a much better understanding of the culture history of the northern Antilles was constructed.

One major contribution Rouse made to Caribbean archaeology involves the reconstruction of the migrations that were responsible for the populating of the islands. Rouse believed that the population of the Caribbean occurred in four migrations from mainland South America [22] The first migration came in what Rouse called the “lithic” age, which happened around years ago based on the dates of the earliest sites on the rousw.

Other archaeologists believed that every new pottery type was a product of a new migration from the mainland. Throughout his career, Rouse maintained that the only migrations to the islands were those mentioned above. This was the culture, which was fairly complex in social structure, that was first encountered by Old World explorers, most notably Christopher Columbus. In this volume Rouse discusses different population movements throughout rouxe world, and discusses his view of the proper way to study prehistoric migrations.

A review of this publication outlines the general technique Rouse believed would be most useful in studying migrations. The archaeologist must create testable hypotheses and inferences, with emphasis placed upon local development, acculturation, and transculturation.

The hypotheses should also be tested against other forms of anthropological data, such as linguistic and physical anthropological data. Rouse was a proponent of the cultural historical approach to archaeology, and in “The Strategy of Culture History”, [29] Rouse identifies and examines the goals of this approach. Rouse identifies “objectives” as the building blocks of any archaeological research project, and the ultimate goal of any research project is the synthesis of a series of these objectives, which he defines as “the end-product of any particular segment in the procedure of culture-historical research.

He identifies a number of objective types which may be pursued in this article, including descriptive, classificatory, geographical, and chronological objectives. In a article in American AntiquityRouse breaks classification of artifacts down into two forms, analytic and taxonomic, and discusses the goals of each form. The end product of analytic classification is the ” mode “, which is produced by creating a series of classes representing different features of the artifact.

Each class represents a procedure or custom followed by the maker during the process of formation. This custom or concept is the mode.

Taxonomic classification is done by creating a set of classes which differentiate the artifacts in a collection by type type being the end product of Taxonomic classification.

These classes are constituted of two or more modes.

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