Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes (PR)

One of the most important archaeological discoveries made in the Antilles was done at Tibes (Ponce), Puerto Rico. The site provides an insight as to how the indigenous tribes of the Igneri and Tainos lived and played during and before the arrival of Columbus to the New World.

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The most important part of the site is its magical-religious nature: the ball courts, petroglyphs, amulets and burials which provide information about their belief in an after-life. Earliest excavations date to 1914. Until now, 9 ball fields, 186 burials, and 3 ceremonial plazas were discovered. It possibly is the oldest astronomical observatory in the Antilles.
On arrival at the Center, visitors start with the indoor museum. Right after the gallery, one sees a 15 minute video. One can then continue with a tour guide. Close to the museum one gets explanation about the plants and trees used in the past, exemplified by species in a garden. Following on this one enters a recreation of an ancient village. This serves as an introduction to the archaeological area with ceremonial plazas and ball fields which are partly reconstructed.
The Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center opened its doors in 1982 and attracts about 80,000 visitors a year. Following the excavations and the opening of the museum, the scientific centre was further developed including a research lab for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, turning Tibes into an international archaeological centre.

Photo by Marine 69-71 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17983883


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