Saturday, November 20, 2021

New book on the history of Matanzas, Cuba

Historia fundacional de Matanzas: los años formativos (1680-1765) from Aspha Ediciones publishing house (ISBN-978-987-3851-33-9), is a book that covers the planning and population process of the city of Matanzas, northeast of Cuba.

The book provides a rich compendium in 584 pages of detailed information, extracted from the documents of the time, on the planning of San Severino, the main fortification, and the settlement system of the region. Several chapters are dedicated exclusively to the migratory process of whole Spanish families (Canary Islands) that emigrated to the island of Cuba and were later selected to populate the new city of San Carlos de Matanzas in 1693. Lists of founders and other families are provided with details about the date of their arrival, precedence in the Canary archipelago, names and surnames, their physical condition and health history, and in some cases even a physical description. Therefore, these data make this work a relevant source of genealogical information for the investigation of Canarian families who emigrated to Cuba at the end of the seventeenth century and their settlement and distribution within the island since then. In addition to this, details of other ethnic groups and migratory groups are provided, with similar detail, which also included the population of the city of Matanzas and the surroundings of its bay.

The book is available here:ón/historia-fundacional-de-matanzas-los-años-formativos-1680-1765/paperback/product-gkngqq.html?page=1&pageSize=4


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New findings of birds in paleontological and archaeological contexts of Cuba

With great excitement here I announce the publication of another contribution to the archaeology and paleontology of the island of Cuba. On this occasion as a collaborator to Osvaldo Jimenez, zooarchaeologist, a specialist from the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, Cuba. Our paper came out today on the scientific journal Novitates Caribaea, available here:

We take this opportunity to extend our thanks to Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado, Raúl Mesa Morales, Marcos A. Acosta Mauri, Gabinete de Arqueología, Oficina del Historiador de La Habana (OHH), Jorge A. Garcell Domínguez, Consejo Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural (CNPC); William Suárez Duque, P.O. Box 16477, West Palm Beach, Florida 33165, USA.; S. L. Olson, Megan Spitzer y Christina A. Gebhard, Division of Birds, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA; Peter Capainolo, Division of Birds, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
Arredondo´s owl (Pulsatrix arredondoi). 

Bilingual abstract: 

 This paper provides new records on Cuban birds such as the endemic Cuban macaw (Ara tricolor), found in two archaeological sites in Old Havana dated in the 17th and 18th centuries. We provide details on Arredondo´s owl (Pulsatrix arredondoi), extinct since prehistory, but whose remains have been collected in two caves near Las Charcas, a community in San José de las Lajas municipality, Mayabeque province. The report also includes the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), from a specimen collected in Cueva del Aguacate in the above-cited location. The bone remains found in Cueva de Las Charcas match a paleontological context, but the other was found in la Cueva de los Muertos, an archaic culture archaeological site (i.e., hunter-fisher-gatherers). The possibility that P. arredondoi formed part of this pre-Columbian aboriginal’s diet is considered. The record of C. principalis represents the first finding of this species in paleontological contexts in Cuba. Information on the natural history of the species is moreover provided. 


 Se comentan nuevos registros de aves de Cuba, como el guacamayo cubano (Ara tricolor), hallado en dos sitios arqueológicos de La Habana Vieja, de los siglos XVII y XVIII, asimismo, el búho de Arredondo (Pulsatrix arredondoi), ave extinta en tiempos prehistóricos, cuyos restos hemos colectado en dos cuevas de la comunidad Las Charcas, municipio San José de las Lajas, provincia Mayabeque, y por último, el carpintero real (Campephilus principalis), colectado en la Cueva del Aguacate, sitio localizado también en la comunidad Las Charcas. El resto óseo de P. arredondoi colectado en la Cueva de Las Charcas procede de un contexto paleontológico. En cambio, el otro resto proviene de la Cueva de los Muertos, que es un sitio arqueológico de aborígenes arcaicos, también conocidos como apropiadores mesolíticos. Por vez primera se considera la posibilidad de que P. arredondoi formara parte de la dieta de los aborígenes precolombinos citados. El registro de C. principalis representa el primer hallazgo de esta especie en contextos paleontológicos de Cuba. Adicionalmente se aporta información novedosa sobre la historia natural de las especies tratadas. 


 Jiménez, O. & Orihuela, J. (2021) «Nuevos hallazgos de aves en contextos paleontológicos y arqueológicos de Cuba», Novitates Caribaea, (17), pp. 163-176. doi: 10.33800/nc.vi17.251.