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PreColumbian pottery in Puerto Rico


The shallow pottery bowl shown here was found in a burial in Tibes, Puerto Rico and dates from AD 300-600. The larger Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and Cuba (called the Greater Antilles) were settled by Arawak-speaking tribes from South America from 100 BC onward who brought both pottery and agriculture to the islands.

The earliest pottery vessels in the Greater Antilles (called the Saladoid tradition) have white-on-red negative painting  and  incised organic forms. The subsequent Barrancoid tradition with broad-line incision on smooth surfaces spread through the Antilles after about AD 700. Another tradition, called the Ostionoid, developed after AD 600 in the Greater Antilles as a modified version of the Saladoid.

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[Fig.1: Incised pottery bowl from Tibes, Puerto Rico (photo: Athena Review).]

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