This well-written, important monograph details the results of ten days of excavations made during 1964 in a rock shelter at the base of Arroyo del Palo, Mayarí, Oriente Province. The culture deposit was a meter thick and yielded ceramics, ground stone, shell, bone, and two burials. Of the 4,481 sherds obtained, only 282 were decorated. Three ceramic groups, plain, incised, and painted, are established, and superb descriptions are given of each, along with data on design modes and frequencies.
The absence of the buren, a circular griddle-like vessel used for cooking casave and tortillas, leads the authors to consider the remains as preagricultural, and they note that the pottery interjects a new note in what would otherwise be viewed as a Ciboney culture. The source of these ceramics, the earliest known for Cuba, is tentatively considered as related to Ostiones of Puerto Rico. On the basis of comparative dating, the site was placed between 800 and 850 A.D., but radiocarbon determinations made after the report was written yielded dates of 970 and 1190 A.D.