A Flooded Fruit Farm and….

A Flooded Fruit Farm

It was a simple fruit farm that was flooded…….

Indigenous Tibes and Pre-Tainos…..the story of a ceremonial burial site.

Uncovering history in a most unique but natural way.

I like not looking back. But, yet I do like history and I like archaeology.  Everywhere I travel I look for those types of places to visit.  Sometimes you can sense the presence of these beautiful souls, I do.  Like they are walking past me doing their daily routines.  It’s an awesome experience.

This is a remarkable story…..as follows.

In 1975, the tropical storm Eloise hit the city of Ponce and caused the Portuguese River to overflow.  When the floodwaters subsided, they lay bare what was to become the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center.  Seven ‘battles’, two ceremonial plazas, burial grounds and myriad of artifacts were found on a private farm in Barrio Tibes.  The Ponce Municipal Government expropriated the farm to protect the cultural heritage.  A team of archaeologists historians, geologists, and scholars surveyed the area and they analyzed the vast amount of ceramic, lithic materials and other cultural remains found at the site.  They concluded that two different cultures, the Igneis and Pre-Tainos populated the Valley of Tibes…..at different times.

So the rivers flooded the fruit farm and when they subsided enough soil had been washed away to reveal the ceremonial center.     This is the fruit that was farmed.  I’m not sure what it is?  If you know, please let me know and I can update my blog.

  This is the Portuguese River which snuggles next to the plantation on from what I can see is 2 sides of the plantation.

The Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center 

Most of the artifacts are removed from the grounds and some are on display in an adjacent museum, but some of the more interesting stuff is only displayed in photos and are locked away.  Disappointing.

I’d never heard of these two tribes and their I was on a now sparse fruit farm walking amongst the burials of their ancient tribes.  It’s me!  John!  From a bayou in south Louisiana, via St. Petersburg, Florida making home in Mexico….and here I am, walking these sacred grounds of civilizations that are no longer.

There’s no maps of the sight, and no information brochure to use to walk thru the grounds. Only a few posted signs indicating types of trees and a brief history.

The museum wasn’t of much help.  But it did provide some interesting tidbits of information.  Let’s take a quick look.

Living quarters.    The round structure depicted the general social populations housing.  The square belonged to the chief.  I like the round much better.  Just me.

While here a large gathering of elementary students were here given a tour of what may have been their ancestors place of living and an introduction to their lifestyle.  They were also permitted to run about a bit…sort of like a recess time.  Cool.  Some had their parents in attendance.  I’m wondering if our students in the U.S. are taking such field trips, or is it just to the zoo?

While the visit was brief, about 90 minutes, it was nonetheless interesting and I’ll probably be looking into their culture when I’m back home in Mexico.

Here’s a few pics of some of the relics that were removed from the site; 

These were an interesting piece for me…. these collars, worn around the waist!     Fashion seems to have been thriving in the 16th century.

A Flooded Fruit Farm and….

As a matter of fashion I didn’t detect Stilettos……bare-feet or leather sandals.  Seems to be their modern day fashion.  But they did wear some stone necklaces!    I would’ve loved to have peeked in on how they fashioned their apparel and accessories.  Instead I’ll just have to read.  This is the first ruin site outside of Mexico that I didn’t have to drive up a mountain to enjoy.

Here’s the remains that were found after the floodwaters had subsided.   You can see the backside and the upper front side of the skull here along with rib cage and limb bones.

Here is something interestingly…….cruel to me.  These natives felt it to be more attractive to have a sunken forehead so at a very young age they fasten a board to the forehead strapped around the head with a leather strap.  I just find this cruel……….  You can see the artist draft without the board and with the board. Unfortunately the light reflection is obscuring a good viewing of the photo.

Pictured here are a couple of the relics that were removed from the site (there are many, many that are in storage) and aren’t even displayed in the museum! Disappointing…..

Merely a flooded fruit farm…….

Peace, love, and beaches,


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