These two volumes in Spanish are translations of the English version published in 1958 and 1959 by the Pan American Union under the name of An Archeological Chronology of Venezuela, Vol. I and II in the same series. Some corrections have been made, but this Spanish edition of Vol. I as text and Vol. II with illustrations is basically a direct translation of the original monograph that summarizes Venezuelan archeology as of 1958 and develops detailed chronologies for the area. The work is the result of long collaboration between Cruxent, who personally has examined more of Venezuela in search of archeological sites than anyone else, and Rouse, his most frequent collaborator in fieldwork, classification, and interpretation.
The authors divide Venezuela into five arbitrary regions: The Islands, the Coast, the Mountains, the Llanos, and the Orinoco, and each of these regions is subdivided into smaller units called “areas,” and for each area they describe the archeological cultures according to a unit of study they call a “style” based on pottery traits or a “complex” referring to non-ceramic sites. From the non-ceramic complexes to historic times, using 25 Carbon-14 dates as a basis for absolute dates, they establish five arbitrary periods and assign all their material to these Periods I through V even though proof is not always supported by stratigraphic excavation or seriation, but only by the impressionistic feelings of the authors.
They regard their major contribution to be the establishment of an areal dichotomy between western and eastern Venezuela, and the reconfirmation of paths of diffusion in Venezuela according to Osgood’s H-theory rather than Steward’s Circum-Caribbean hypothesis.
Except to the professional archeologist specialized in Latin American archeology the volumes will be difficult to follow and use, and may appear unusually complex. The specialist will find useful comparative materials in the large number of excellent collotype plates, maps, and charts and artifact drawings.