Metals, microanalysis and meaning:a study of metal objects excavated from the indigenous cemetery of El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba

Martinón-Torres, Marcos, Rojas, Roberto Valcárcel, Cooper, Jago ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2396-4414 and Rehren, Thilo (2007) Metals, microanalysis and meaning:a study of metal objects excavated from the indigenous cemetery of El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34 (2). pp. 194-204. ISSN 0305-4403

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Abstract

This is the first publication reporting systematic analytical research conducted on archaeological metals from Cuba. The main focus of the study consists of beads and small metal objects excavated at the cemetery of El Chorro de Maíta, which comprises some of the richest funerary deposits so far recovered on the island. Some comparative samples from the nearby site of Alcalá were also investigated, with an emphasis made on the manufacture, composition and origins of the different alloys. The resulting picture is that members of the social elite of the indigenous Taíno peoples were buried with beads made of placer gold exploited locally, gold-copper-silver pendants brought from continental South America and, above all, brass lacetags from European clothing that were perceived as sacred metals. The archaeometallurgical approach offers fresh insight into the relationships between Europeans and Taínos, and the impact of colonization on the indigenous customs, values and social structures.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This international collaboration was enabled by the generous financial support of the European Union, through a three-month fellowship under the Marie Curie Action for Early Stage Training (contract MEST-CT-2004-514509), to one of the authors (RVR).
Uncontrolled Keywords: brass,caona,caribbean,cuba,gold,guanín,lacetags,pre-columbian,turey,archaeology,archaeology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1204
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 08:30
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2022 03:23
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/86922
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.04.013

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