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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article outlines some of the major theoretical premises widely used as a template for explaining varied pythocultural dynamics and agro-economic subsistence strategies of the precolonial Antilles. It discusses archaeobotanical data retrieved during the last decade that contradicts the main premises of the phytocultural “meta-theory.” The synthetic exposition of new phytocultural scenarios proposed here is intended to stimulate new interpretive models and research on the paleoethnobotany of the Antilles. The discussion addresses two central issues: plant production and dispersals during the Pre-Arawak era and the use of burenes (ceramic griddles) for the processing and cooking of a broad suite of useful plants in later agro-economies of the region, in which manioc probably played a secondary role.

Keywords: archaeobotany, Antillean paleoethnobotany, plant dispersals, burenes, precolonial Antilles, pythocultural dynamics

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