Originally published as the ""Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1907"", this book was praised in an article in American Anthropologist as doing 'more than any other to give a comprehensive idea of the archaeology of the West Indies'. Until that time, for mainly political reasons, little scientific research had been conducted by Americans on any of the Caribbean islands. Dr. Fewkes' unique skills of observation and experience served him well in the quest to understand Caribbean prehistory and culture. This volume, the result of his careful fieldwork in Puerto Rico in 1902-04, is magnificently illustrated by 93 plates and 43 line drawings of specimens from both public and private collections of the islands. A 1907 article in the ""Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland"" described the volume as 'a most valuable contribution to ethnographical science'.
Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930), referred to as the ""dean of American archaeology"" by John R. Swanton, was Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution. L. Antonio Curet is Assistant Curator in the Department of Anthropology at The Field Museum, Chicago, and author of Caribbean Paleodemography: Population, Culture History, and Sociopolitical Processes in Ancient Puerto Rico.