We present here the initial results of the Proyecto Arqueológico del Centro Ceremonial de Tibes. The aim of the project is to study changes in the social, political, and economic systems at Tibes, the earliest civic and ceremonial center in the Caribbean. Tibes was founded as a village around A.D. 1, and sometime between A.D. 600 and A.D. 900 experienced major changes that eventually resulted in the development of a center with multiple ball courts and plazas. The ceramic, faunal, and radiometric evidence suggest that multiple factors were operating at different times during the transformation process. While some of these factors are found in other regions of Puerto Rico, others are evidently unique to Tibes. Traditional regional definitions of cultural periods and areas were not adequate units of analysis to study many of the local and short-term social and political processes that occurred.
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