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The Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam and Their Implications

Authors:
  • Cardno GS, Guam
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The Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish
Colonialism on Guam and Their Implications
 ,  ,   
Introduction to the Mariana Islands
e period between Fernando de Magallanes’ initial landfall in Guam on
March , , and the establishment of a permanent Spanish presence in
Hagåtña on June , , is sometimes called the contact period in the ar-
chaeological literature of the islands, although the material record of such
early interaction is quite sparse (Figure .).
Earlier maritime contact with mainland Asia or the islands of Southeast
Asia before  has been hinted at over the years (Farrell :), as sug-
gested by the brisk exchange of food and freshwater by native Chamorro in-
habitants for bits of Spanish iron to be fashioned into utilitarian tools (Qui-
mby :). Guam historian Robert Rogers has noted that “there may also
have been sporadic foreign contacts by boats blown to the Marianas from
Japan, China, and the Philippines. e arrival of the Chinaman Choco from
the Philippines during a storm in  is documented in the accounts of the
San Vitores mission” (Rogers :). So there can be little doubt that culture
contact between indigenous inhabitants and settlers, both peaceful and bel-
licose, continued throughout la reducción from  to .
Initial contact between Chamorro and Spanish visitors until the arrival of
the Jesuit mission in  was largely restricted to brief provisioning stops
by vessels en route from Acapulco to Manila (Barratt :), most oen in
Umatac Bay, where Miguel López de Legazpi laid formal claim to the archipel-
ago in the name of the Spanish Crown on January , . In June of that year,
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
Legazpi sent his relative Felipe de Salcedo to return to the New World from
the Philippine island of Cebu with a cargo of cinnamon, Chinese porcelain,
and silks. While arriving behind one earlier ship with no cargo from the Phil-
ippines (Farrell :), Salcedo’s pilot Andrés de Urdaneta is credited with
pioneering the use of the Kuro-Siwo/Kuroshio current to return to Mexico,
placing Guam and the Mariana Islands securely on the map of the returning
Manila galleons from Acapulco.
Figure .. Location of archaeological evidence of early contact period interaction on Guam.
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
Far from being the benign exchange of iron and trinkets for food and wa-
ter, brief and intermittent contact between Spanish sailors and Chamorro
inhabitants of Guam and the more northerly islands of the archipelago, in-
cluding nearby Rota (Russell :), oen involved cultural and linguistic
misunderstandings. While occasional Spanish crew members were sometimes
killed in such encounters, the result was more oen the killing of numerous
Chamorros by far superior European armament. Indeed, Magallanes named
the islands Islas de los Ladrones aer his ski was taken by locals who paid for
their mischief with several dead villagers (Barratt :). Four Chamorro
were later hanged by a group of  soldiers ashore on Legazpi’s orders aer
the Spanish ship’s boy was killed when inadvertently le behind in  (Rus-
sell :).
Such cultural and linguistic misunderstandings did not subside upon the
 arrival on Guam of Fray Diego Luis de San Vitores with Spanish troops
and several Philippine lay brothers, following his brief visit to Umatac in 
on his rst voyage to Manila (Farrell :). Aer initial enthusiasm for par-
ticipation in Jesuit rites, including the baptism of infants from high-ranking
families around the village of Hagåtña, relations soon soured, as the Jesuits
sought to change Chamorro habits they considered sinful, as part of the con-
version process. A church of mampostería, or lime mortar and tted coral
stone (Flores :), was built in Hagåtña in , as were two colegios, or
schools for boys and girls. Aer the murder of Spanish soldiers and priests in
Tinian and Anatahan over the next two years (Coomans :), Fray San
Vitores himself was murdered in Tumon on April , , aer baptizing the
daughter of the chief Matapang against his will.
Over the next three decades, from  until , the period of conict
known as the Spanish–Chamorro wars resulted in the forced submission to
the Catholic faith and Spanish law of all inhabitants of the Mariana archi-
pelago, although “conversion by the sword” was more oen the case when
Chamorro warriors and their families resisted. A newly fortied presidio was
built in Hagåtña in , and fresh troops were brought from Manila to re-
inforce the garrison, by which time Spanish churches and Chamorro villages
were burned on Orote Peninsula (Farrell :), and then at Ritidian to the
north in  and again in  (Jalandoni a:). is period of conict
was not just between Chamorro warriors and Spanish soldiers, but also one of
intervillage warfare in which longtime rivalries between individuals and clans
boiled over into organized acts of violence between communities, perhaps
more aptly called a civil war by some scholars (Lon Bulgrin, personal com-
munication ).
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
e net result of this period of conict was the imposition of la reducción, the
forced resettlement of almost all native peoples to six villages on Guam under
the direct control of civil and religious authorities, to avoid future insurrections.
e Spanish military removed Chamorro inhabitants from the Northern Mari-
ana Islands of Gani, rst to Saipan and then mostly to Guam and Rota in 
(Russell :), although one small mission for Chamorro residents was le
in Saipan until  (Farrell :). e impacts of this period of conict on
the Chamorro inhabitants were soon evident to the Spanish colonial govern-
ment on Guam, administering a total population perhaps numbering ,
before la reducción, but reduced to a total of only , inhabitants aer  years,
aer the second census of  (Freycinet :). e eects of introduced
diseases and cultural degradation were also immeasurable, given the forced
consolidation of almost all Chamorro residents into the six colonial villages of
Hagåtña, Agat, Umatac, Merizo, Inarajan, and Pago, under the watchful eyes of
Spanish clergy and military garrisons that also resided there (Farrell :).
e historical record of early modern Spanish colonialism on Guam is rea-
sonably well detailed when using primary and secondary literature to recon-
struct signicant events, policies, and personalities that aected the general
population from  to , albeit biased from the perspective of the only
witnesses who could leave a written record at the time: early maritime chroni-
clers, later Jesuit priests, and eventual colonial administrators. e historical
record of what exactly was exchanged between Spanish clergy or government
ocials, Philippine or Mexican military, and Chamorro inhabitants is far less
explicit in the literature.
What Was Being Exchanged during is Contact Period Interaction?
Initial sixteenth-century exchange between Spanish sailors and Chamorro in-
habitants of the Mariana Islands before the Manila Galleon trade appears to
have been largely spontaneous and unplanned, although some objects were
deliberately stored in quantity for native trade. When Magallanes supervised
the storing of cargo in his agship Trinidad in , he ensured provisioning
it with “looking-glasses, beads, knives, sh-hooks, red caps, ivory, quicksilver,
brass bracelets, and , bells carried for trade” (Beaglehole : in Rus-
sell :). In  when Legazpi arrived on Guam, he well knew what to
expect, from his pilot Urdaneta; hence,
the Spanish oered playing cards, clothing, small bells, beads and glass
objects, which the Islanders accepted by oering a little of the food they
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
had brought. e next day, Islanders asked specically for iron through
signs, gestures and the Spanish word hierro and traded everything they
had brought when iron was oered. When nails were shown, the Island-
ers bartered only for those. Some also tried to extract nails from a ship’s
rudder post. (Quimby :)
With the establishment of the Manila Galleon visit to Guam and Rota every
year aer , Chamorro inhabitants “traded woven pandanus mats and bas-
kets, coils of coir sennit, dove-like birds in wooden cages and small turtle-shell
boxes” (Quimby :). And aer the wrecks of galleons Santa Margarita on
Rota in  and Nuestra Señora de la Concepción in  on Saipan, “some
islanders also oered gold neck chains and ivory gurines salvaged from the
wrecks, causing observers to marvel that the islanders valued iron more than
gold” (Quimby :). In  items recovered from the salvage of the Santa
Margarita included a few gold pieces, ivory, porcelain, and gemstones includ-
ing garnets). Beginning in , more than “, pieces of . carat gold jew-
elry including a variety of chains, rings, buttons, plates and other decorative
gold items set withdiamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds” were recovered
from Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Mathers et al. :), but only a
single silver coin in the denomination of one Real was among the recovered
items (Moore :).
In return for these riches, both native and foreign (Barratt :), both
the sailors aboard the Spanish galleons and the English and Dutch privateers
(Figure .) exchanged nails, knives, hatchets, scissors, and cask hoop iron,
plus occasional machetes and cutlasses, but not swords or arquebuses. In
fact, “[k]nowing the Islanders’ preference, westbound galleons carried extra
quantities of iron goods” (Quimby :). Much of this iron appears to
have been refashioned by Chamorros into carpentry tools for the manufac-
ture of canoes and outriggers, which were increasingly valuable as coastal
trade became more predictable. It is probably fair to assume that some ob-
jects also entered the traditional exchange system today called chenchule,
in which objects of value or labor obligations were given to individuals of
greater age or social status to repay their generosity or social indebtedness
(Flores :).
Aer San Vitores settled in Hagåtña in  with about  individuals, in-
cluding six Spanish clerics, an interpreter, several Philippine lay helpers, and 
soldiers, mostly from the Philippines, access to iron and other European trade
goods became more circumscribed. e high-ranking families of Hagåtña and
nearby Tumon expected dierential treatment and trading privileges when
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
Spanish vessels arrived, and the clergy and soldiers expected acquiescence
from Chamorro inhabitants for the imposition of religious and secular policy
in return (Farrell :). Cross-cultural relations soon soured, as neither
side was receiving what it had expected, and it is safe to assume that the spon-
taneous exchange of iron and trinkets for labor and food eventually gave way
to coercion and deceit.
Over the next three decades, the native population of Guam and the Mar-
iana Islands reeled from what was rapidly becoming a one-way exchange of
Chamorro souls, labor, and lives for the Spanish right to maintain a growing
military and religious mission, rst in Hagåtña and then in smaller villages
around the islands. Indigenous residents who accepted religious conversion
were introduced to textiles and metal tools from Asia, maize and sweet po-
tatoes from Mexico or Peru (Dixon et al. ), smoking tobacco, the fer-
mentation of coconut tuba from the Philippines, and both Old World and
New World diseases for which they had no natural resistance.
Evidence of Contact Period Interaction in the Northern Mariana Islands
Before addressing the early modern interaction on Guam, the archaeological
evidence of the initial contact period material record of the Commonwealth
Figure .. Trade between Oliver van Noort and Chamorros on Guam in  (aer Farrell :).
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) will be briey reviewed, since tradi-
tionally the archipelago and its native peoples were in almost constant com-
munication with each other. is free exchange of goods and ideas halted with
the reducción in .
On the active volcanic island of Pagan, located  nautical miles north of
Guam, bird-leg-bone spearheads of Phasionidae gen. et sp. Indet.; a Carnelian
bead similar to those found in the Philippines and likely derived from India
(Francis :); sherds of Ming Dynasty blue and white porcelain from
China; and fragments of metal artifacts with wooden attachments, were found
in sealed latte period contexts with charcoal radiocarbon-dated to ±,
± CE, and ± (Egami and Saito :), suggesting to the au-
thors pre-Magallanes contact with Iron Age Southeast Asia, and perhaps an
attempt to introduce chicken or pheasant.
At the site of Achugao on the island of Saipan, a small fragmentary metal
ushloop bell was found just above the le side of the pelvis on a latte period
burial; it apparently had been attached to something around the waist (Butler
:). is type of brass alloy bell of European manufacture is commonly
found in eastern North American colonial contexts from the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. e author argues that this particular specimen likely
dates between the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción on the south
coast of Saipan in  and the end of the Chamorro settlement of Saipan circa
, since native inhabitants were more interested in iron than other metals
aer contact with Magallanes in . At Laulau House A an iron spear point,
a nail, and a fragment of an iron knife blade (Figure .) were found beneath
rocks packed around a latte stone, while at Objan the top of a copper object
was found in a buried context, suggesting a post-contact ending date to latte
period occupations at both sites (Spoehr :).
On the smaller island of Aguiguan just south of Tinian, several large frag-
ments of a glazed stoneware vessel with strap lug below the rim were recov-
ered from the surface of Site . e vessel style and construction were dated to
the sixteenth to seventeenth century and probably manufactured in southern
China or Vietnam, according to a ceramic specialist at the Smithsonian In-
stitution (Butler :). Manila was a major hub in the early modern trade
of these Southeast Asian ceramics and porcelains to the New World and ulti-
mately to Europe. e author argues that this particular specimen likely dates
between the wreck of the Santa Margarita on the north coast of Rota in 
and the battle that ended Chamorro resistance on Aguiguan in .
When Franciscan Fray Juan Pobre and his religious companion Pedro Tala-
vera jumped ship on Rota in , they were welcomed by residents of the vil-
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
lage of Tatgua, where Pobre met a Spanish sailor and former resident of Guam
named Sancho (Hunter-Anderson and Butler :). Excavations at the latte
site of Tagua have not revealed any manifestation of this event, although frag-
ments of green glaze stoneware ceramics were noted (Lizama et al. :).
At the Mochon Point latte site, a copper studlike object of unknown function
was found on the surface, suggesting a post-contact ending date to latte period
occupation there (Spoehr :). is artifact may be one of “some bronze
nail heads” that Osborne (:) mentions on Rota in passing.
Evidence of Contact Period Interaction on Guam
Like the contact period material record of the CNMI, the archaeological evi-
dence of interaction between native Chamorros and early modern Spanish
clergy, military, and colonial administrators on Guam prior to  is very
sparse (Table ., Figure .). At rst glance this seems improbable, given the
almost yearly visits totaling over  sailing vessels to the island aer  (Qui-
mby :), and the number of small chapels and churches constructed across
the island aer  before completion of la reducción. Just the presumed social
and economic impact that several hundred Spanish, Mexican, and Philippine
men must have had on a native population estimated to be at least , (Far-
rell :) should have been considerable. It is also clear that almost all the
coastal villages with Jesuit chapels (Figure .) were native Chamorro habita-
tion centers during the preceding Latte period, to judge from the archaeologi-
Figure .. Metal spear point, nail, and knife blade from Saipan; copper stud from Rota (aer
Spoehr :).
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
Table 8.1. Archaeological Evidence of Early Contact Period Interaction on Guam.*
Location
Historical
Name
(Le Gobien
1700)
Church
Present
(Le Gobien
1700)
Archaeological
Remains
Reference
Tarague Tarragui Yes Walls, piles, trails Liston 1996
Ritidian Ritidyan Yes Spanish church and structural
material (mampostería,
handmade brick); Chinese
porcelain; walls; Venetian
glass bead, forged iron nails,
Chinese porcelain sherd
Bayman et al. 2012; Dixon
et al. 2010; Hornbostel
1925; Jalandoni 2011a,
2011b, 2014; Osborne
1946; Reed 1952; Reinman
1966
Tumon Tumhan No Spanish period ceramics Osborne 1947
Hagåtña Agadna Yes English, Mexican, and Asian
ceramics; 1739 Dutch duit coin
Moore 2013; Schuetz 2007
Janum Hanum No Walls Reinman 1966
Orote Orote Ye s Fish weirs Dixon et al. 2013
Pulantat (?) Mapupun Yes Round glass bead (pre–
Japanese period)
Reinman 1977; Williams
1991
Cetti (?) Ati No Spanish period ceramics Osborne 1946
Umatac Umatag Yes Spanish period ceramics Osborne 1946
Merizo Meriso Yes Spanish period ceramics Reinman 1966
Merizo (?) Pa’a No Spanish period ceramics Reinman 1966
Inarajan Narajan No Spanish period ceramics; two
round glass beads
Reinman 1966, 1977
Ylig Irig No Spanish period ceramics Moore 2013; Reinman
1966
Pago Pago No Spanish period ceramics; 1739
Mexican Real coin, bottle,
porcelain, griddles, tiles
Moore 2013; Reinman
1966
Pagat Pagat No Walls, trails; Spanish period
ceramics, metal fragments,
porcelain
Craib 1986; Dixon et al.
2010; Reinman 1966
Note: *Based on available data.
cal record (see, for instance, Hornbostel ; Osborne ; Reed ; Rein-
man ), although their placenames may not reect those today.
In Ritidian, for instance, located on the northern tip of Guam, virtually
the entire coastal plain within the protected reef was inhabited or used as a
planting and forest production area, with numerous sets of latte stones or
house supports, human burials, utilized rock shelters, caves with rock art,
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
freshwater wells, grinding stones called lusong, and acres of traditional ar-
tifacts scattered across the surface even today. e crumbling remains of a
cobblestone church called Casa Real were also recorded by Reed (:), a
structure that in the s Hans Hornbostel felt was built in part with former
latte stones (Jalandoni b:) but was later destroyed, during Cold War
U.S. military construction (Jalandoni a:). Excavations at that site have
revealed the possible foundation of a mampostería stone-and-mortar church
believed to have been built in  aer a previous wooden church and two
religious schools were burned and two Spanish were killed in  by local
Figure .. Contact period churches and villages on Guam (aer Le Gobien :).
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
inhabitants angry at Jesuit insults to members of a traditional mens house,
or gumauritao (Jalandoni a:). Besides the buried remnants of a cobble
and burned limestone mortar alignment (Figure .), other artifacts of no-
traditional manufacture included a fragment of hand-made red=clay brick
with mortar residue (Figure .) and a small rim fragment of Asian porcelain
(Jalandoni :). Found in close association were large fragments of Latte
period pottery with mampostería residue (Figure .), stone slingstones, and
human-bone spear points (Jalandoni :). Also implying contact period
exchange at Ritidian is the recent discovery of a Venetian glass bead, forged
Figure .. Ritidian possible Casa Real wall foundation remains (aer Jalandoni
a:).
proof
Figure .. Ritidian hand-made brick fragment with
lime mortar (aer Jalandoni :).
Figure .. Ritidian latte period pottery and lime mortar (aer Jalandoni :).
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
iron nails, and a Chinese porcelain sherd in two latte sets excavated by a joint
University of Guam and University of Hawai‘i eld school (Bayman et al.
:).
Archaeological investigations completed on the north side of Pago Bay,
where Ritidian residents were moved during la reducción, did not encoun-
ter shaped building stones or foundations of the former stone-and-thatch
church recorded there in the s, or the range of perishable objects used
at the time (Figure .). But “historic materials recovered include bottles,
glassware and porcelain fragments dating to the s and s, broken
clay tiles, and fragments of large kiln-red storage jars of the type commonly
carried on the galleons . . . [and] [p]ieces of three dierent griddles made
of basalt” (Moore :). Also recovered was a silver coin worth two reales,
minted in Mexico City in  during the reign of Spains King Charles III
(Moore :). Across the island, in excavations at the late colonial era Ro-
Figure .. “Various Objects Used by the Present-Day Inhabitants” (aer Frey-
cinet : in Flores :).
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
sario House in Hagåtña, a probable  Dutch copper duit (Figure .) with
embossed VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) logo of the Dutch
East Indies Company was recovered in mixed contexts predating the struc-
ture (Moore :).
While similar buried remains could be expected in many coastal villages at
which Jesuits constructed chapels and churches, few such remains have been
unearthed—although none have been searched for archaeologically in such a
diligent manner as at Ritidian. In nearby Tarague, for instance, decades of pre-
WWII coconut plantation development and later U.S. military disturbances
have le the forested coastal plain largely devoid of intact latte structures such
as those recorded by Hornbostel in the early s (Athens :). Instead,
remnants of the latte period and contact period cultural landscape are pre-
served in the slopes above the coastal plain, where low boundary walls, stone
clearing or planting piles, pedestrian trail alignments, and lusong imply ex-
tensive use of shallow soils for traditional agriculture (Liston :), up to
and presumably postdating the arrival of Magallanes’ ship Trinidad that would
have been seen passing oshore from the Tarague cli line in .
Low cobble boundary walls, stone clearing or planting piles, pedestrian trail
alignments, and lusong are dicult to date directly by archaeological means,
but their mode of construction was likely present during prehistory, as were
the social and agronomic benets accrued by using such landscape modica-
tions. eir proliferation in late Latte period contexts behind most contact
period coastal villages in northern Guam has led to the hypothesis that they
reect the spread if not intensication of agriculture aer  (Dixon et al.
:), in response to increased demand for foodstus when foreign ves-
sels arrived oshore and to feed family or neighbors eagerly awaiting the gal-
leon season. One crop that could have been farmed in pockets of moist inland
soils was dryland rice, which was traded to the early Spanish for iron (Qui-
mby :). Numerous lusong and pounding stones presumably of southern
Guam volcanic stone have been recorded at the northeastern coastal village of
Figure ..  Dutch duit
from Rosario House in
Hagåtña (aer Moore :).
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
Pagat (Craib :)—perhaps one of the rst settlements to sight incoming
vessels from the Pacic every year. Metal fragments, blue and white porcelain,
and “wheel made, kiln-red pottery” have also been recovered from excava-
tions at the site (Reinman :).
One crop that would do better in well-drained rockier soils was the sweet
potato, probably introduced to the Mariana Islands by early Spanish galleons
from Manila or their passengers from Acapulco, like Fray Juan Pobre, due to
its ability to sustain prolonged preservation aboard ship. Another avenue for
its introduction may be pre-contact maritime exchange with Caroline Island-
ers and their Western Polynesian suite of domesticates, including the sweet
potato, kawa or sakau, and unseeded breadfruit (Petersen :). Yams and
other tubers were noted by early Spanish visitors to the islands, and tech-
niques previously used for growing local crops in rocky settings could easily
have been adapted to new foods of value to visiting sailors, perhaps necessitat-
ing the construction of boundary walls and trails in previously uncontested
landscapes.
Besides plant foods, which generally leave a poor record archaeologically,
other artifacts of early modern exchange between native Chamorro and their
contact period visitors were two round white and green glass trade beads
found at Pulantat in upland southern Guam, and one round white glass bead
with red stripes at Inarajan on the southeast coast of the island (Reinman
:). Rumored fragments of copper tachuelas, or tacks (Darlene Moore,
personal communication ), and a possible brass crucix from the site of
Pagat (Jennings Bunn, personal communication ) have yet to be recorded
in the literature.
Glazed “Spanish ware” ceramics found in Latte period collections such as
the Gogna site in Tumon (Osborne :) and at Umatac and Cetti bays
(Osborne :) likely reect a later period of interaction, aer permanent
settlement in , when Jesuit priests and their lay workers traversed the
island on foot to maintain far-ung mission outposts. Such ceramics have
especially been noted in southern Guam where northern inhabitants and
their cousins from Gani were moved aer la reducción, specically in Merizo
(Reinman :), Pa’a (Reinman :), Inarajan (Reinman :), Ylig
(Reinman :), and Pago (Reinman :).
Pre-nineteenth-century Japanese porcelain was also noted at Pulantat and
found to be similar to Philippine collections from Asia (Reinman :).
Sherds of eighteenth-century English transfer print, Mexican majolica, and
Asian celadons from excavations of the Governors Palace, or Palacio, in
Hagåtña (Schuetz :–) are tantalizing evidence of colonial occupa-
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
tion of the structure begun in , if not of the town before. e occasional
recovery of lead musket balls and chert gunints such as near Pulantat (Wil-
liams :) are likely an even later reection of hunting, aer deer and pigs
were introduced to the island.
In addition to the remains of terrestrial subsistence activities that may
have supported both native Chamorro and early Spanish clergy, military,
and colonial administrators on Guam prior to , gigao, or stone sh weirs
(Cunningham :) recently recorded within the unique estuarian envi-
ronment of Apra Harbor on the southwest coast may represent the intensi-
cation of a traditional technique for acquiring fresh and easily dried sh
for exchange with galleons and other vessels. While these stone-walled sh
weirs were never mentioned by early visitors to the island, when the French
corvette L’ U r a n i e anchored o Apra Harbor in , its captain, Louis Claude
de Freycinet, was told of the former presence of gigao while surveying the is-
land (Freycinet :). Controlled archaeological excavation of small sites
adjacent to one of these complexes yielded Latte period pottery and wood
charcoal radiocarbon-dated to – (Dixon et al. ). is time span
is well within the plausible memory of the oldest generation of Freycinet’s in-
formants, who may have built or used the sh weirs to feed local populations
and visiting sailors long aer Fernando de Magallanes’ visit in .
Another maritime archaeological signature of the contact period comes
from the Nuestra Señora del Pilar that sank o southern Guam in  en
route to the Philippines, where salvage work in the s “recovered  silver
coins with marks indicating that they had been minted in Mexico City, Lima
(Peru), and Potosi (Bolivia). Iron nails, cannon balls, musket shot, fragments
of storage jars and stone ballast were also recovered” (Moore :).
Discussion and Interpretation
Using a compilation of archaeological remains unearthed from this period at
these communities (see Table .), the impacts of early modern Spanish colo-
nialism on the island and its people are still dicult to measure. Is the sparse
material record a manifestation of the low level of colonial investment from
Spain in Guam, the amalgamation of Chamorro and Spanish culture, or a lack
of archaeological attention to these sites?
Certainly the Mariana Islands never gured prominently in the near-global
quest for spices and mineral riches that embraced the New World and Asia
during the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, as arable land and natural
resources in the archipelago were limited for competing European powers
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
to exploit. When the Spanish Crown nally embraced the Jesuits’ desire to
convert the Chamorro people for the glory of Christ and the Church, it was
only aer the islands had become a scheduled stopover in the lucrative gal-
leon trade between Manila and Acapulco. e initial labor investment in the
mission with the arrival of Fray San Vitores in  tallied only ve priests,
three Spanish ocers, and about  non-Spanish military and helpers (Farrell
:), a minimal display of ocial faith in the endeavor when compared to
the population of Manila, already well over , by  (De Viana :).
By the rst census of , long aer la reducción had eectively consolidated
all indigenous people to Guam and Rota, the colony consisted of only slightly
over , Chamorro souls and  Spanish, Mexican, and Philippine soldiers
and retirees, many married to Chamorro women, and fathering  mestizo
children (Farrell :). e colonial investment in the Mariana Islands af-
ter its apparent success in Christianizing the entire local population therefore
remained negligible.
On their westward voyages across the Pacic Ocean from Acapulco, the
Manila-bound galleons carried funds from the royal treasury for the sup-
port of the Philippine colony, which included the Mariana Islands. However,
Guam’s annual subsidy of , pesos was sometimes paid to the governor
half in silver pesos and half in goods (Moore :). In  the yearly sal-
ary for each soldier was  pesos in Mexican silver, although most coinage
was garnered by the interim governor-lieutenant and General Juan Antonio
Pimentel through his exclusive trade in tobacco and alcohol and the debt in-
curred for these products during the year (Farrell :), a pattern that
proved hard to break. In the later eighteenth century when Chamorros be-
gan raising their own tobacco in household gardens, the governor purchased
aguayente (aer the name of the Spanish liquor aguardiente) distilled from
tuba at a low price and then resold it to natives and soldiers in the garrison at
a prot (De Viana :). One can only assume that the almost complete
lack of Mexican silver found in archaeological contexts over the past  years
in the Marianas implies that the vast majority of coinage returned to Manila
during the colonial period, by hook or by crook.
e imported artifacts that have been recovered from what appear to be
late Latte period or Contact period contexts roughly dated between  and
 on Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands (see Table .) are gen-
erally small European trade goods that were made available to Chamorro as
part of informal barter from Spanish vessels. Such objects included copper
bells, iron nails or other usable metal, and glass or carnelian beads. Also in-
cluded inadvertently in this reciprocal exchange would be gold ornaments
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
and jewelry from sunken Manila galleons and salvaged by Chamorro from the
beaches nearby. Aer  on Guam, Jesuits and their lay helpers presumably
distributed manufactured goods as incentive to cooperate with the mission,
including glazed ceramics for storage of water and foodstus, metates and
manos for tortilla preparation, and textiles for clothing. Later manufactured
goods that entered the formal eighteenth-century economy included English
transfer-print ceramics, Mexican majolica, Asian celadons or porcelains, li-
quors and wines in bottles, roong tiles and bricks, and coins from Mexico
and Europe destined for colonial administrators’ and clergy’s consumption
and display, or for high-ranking Chamorro families in Hagåtña. For the vast
majority of poorer families, they had only their labor and produce from their
rural lanchos to trade for the occasional luxury. e resulting local culture
reected a mix of Spanish, Mexican, Philippine, and Chamorro heritage, as it
still does today—the Catholic faith in church and local beliefs in the jungle,
Spanish language at work and Chamorro or Tagalog at home, tortillas for
breakfast and breadfruit for dinner.
Given that the upper socioeconomic class of Spanish administrators or
clergy and Philippine or Mexican military ocers and high-ranking Cham-
orro families resided in Hagåtña, it would stand to reason that the majority
of archaeological remains of contact period interaction between the peoples
of Guam would be in its colonial capital, and only to a much smaller degree
in the few rural villages. e destruction during World War II of these struc-
tures in Hagåtña was particularly harsh, since they were far easier targets for
American bombing and naval shelling and were largely occupied by Japanese
administrators and military between late  and early . Archaeological
attention over the past  years has gradually shied away from these larger
structures and gravitated more oen toward the remains of more insubstantial
domestic or commercial architecture in rural settings, by virtue of federal and
territorial historic preservation oversight during private and governmental
planning and construction of highways, public utilities, private hotels or golf
courses, and military infrastructure. Nevertheless, very few remains of early
modern colonialism have been unearthed by archaeologists in any quantity
during Cultural Resources Management projects on Guam or in the CNMI.
So, What Changed and When?
If the impact of early modern colonialism on traditional lifeways in Guam
circa  is not easily measured by artifacts and maps alone, including those
produced by the Jesuits (not discussed in this chapter), what, then, can archae-
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
ologists say actually changed as a result of almost two centuries of interaction
between Chamorro and European culture? For that, one must examine the
context in which the artifacts were found and refer to archival documents of
the period to add details as appropriate. e resulting image is oen imperfect
but recognizable from our not-so-distant perspective today.
Religious beliefs certainly changed by , or at least the appearance of
belief to satisfy Jesuit or later Augustinian clergy and lay helpers in the six vil-
lages on Guam that retained all Chamorro inhabitants aer la reducción, plus
one community in Songsong village on Rota. Each village maintained a Catho-
lic church for the faithful to attend every Sunday and on religious holidays,
and such events became the focus of weekly community life, with food, public
dances, and cockghting as part of major estas. Respect was also paid to natu-
ral spirits or aniti when in the jungle and to makahnas who could intercede
with these spirits when needed (Freycinet :). Taotaomona, or ancestral
spirits, were never to be angered, lest sickness or ill fortune result, and suru-
hanu, or medicinal practitioners, were consulted for minor and major ailments.
Rosary beads and small crucixes were distributed to the faithful, and prayers
were undoubtedly spoken to patron saints and traditional spirits alike, espe-
cially in times of need, which were frequent. But the archaeological evidence of
such devotion remains elusive except in the churches themselves that were built
with local labor and materials, and thus remain a testament to their faith.
Burial customs presumably varied aer conversion of the faithful too, with
the dead no longer being placed underneath latte stone houses, and bones not
removed for spear points or veneration in the raers of the home—both cus-
toms the clergy were adamant about eradicating (Coomans :). In the
beginning before formal cemeteries were established near each church in the
six communities on Guam and in Rota, the dead who were lucky enough to
receive a priest’s blessing before their demise were still buried near their family
home without a casket, perhaps with occasional religious artifacts such as the
small bell attached to an overgarment found in Saipan (Butler :). Peri-
odic plagues and other social diseases undoubtedly complicated more formal
burial practices upon occasion.
Gender roles were well dened before Spanish arrival, with men more of-
ten involved in shing and related industries, while women produced woven
sails for the canoes or baskets and ceramics used every day at home or in the
elds when the entire family harvested agricultural and forest foods (Freycinet
:). Recent archaeological excavations of two latte sets in Ritidian have
revealed evidence that some family tasks were separated not only by gender
but also by structure (Bayman et al. :), one house being used to pro-
proof

Dixon, Jalandoni, and Cra
duce shing gear by males, while the other was used by females to prepare
foods with ceramics and weave products for family consumption. at both
structures were occupied during the contact period is indicated by the pres-
ence of Venetian beads, iron nails, and Chinese porcelain sherds.
Domestic housing changed aer la reducción, when Chamorros no longer
erected stone latte to support their homes but constructed pole-and-thatch
houses close to the ground on low wooden oors in the colonial fashion
(Flores :). Each village had wide dirt streets leading from the church
and school to the edge of town, where elds were tended and animals grazed.
Only in the buried remains of structures like the Casa Real in Ritidian (Ja-
landoni a:) do we see the beginnings of religious architecture that be-
came the focal point of every community over time. Substantial structures for
colonial administration in Hagåtña were later constructed of quarried stone
and burned lime mortar called cal y canto or rubble lled with lime mortar
mampostería with a tile roof supported by a long-lasting il (a native Marianas
hardwood tree) wood frame. Military fortresses were also of similar construc-
tion, and all required periodic replastering.
Education was seen as a route for families without strong social ties to
the Spanish colonial administration or the few elite families on the island to
forge a future out of poverty. Children in each village attended religious school
(Flores :), at least until they learned basic reading and writing skills
that their grandparents very likely had never mastered. Spanish was the lan-
guage of trade and commerce on Guam until aer the Americans arrived with
English schooling in , but Chamorro and the languages of Tagalog and
Carolinian families were the spoken word at home. e Chamorro language
did not remain static but adopted Spanish loanwords where none existed for
new needs, and many Spanish surnames were introduced on Guam through
the intermarriage of cross-cultural families. e most important artifacts of
education, however, remained in peoples’ minds.
Conclusions
What is apparent from this examination of early modern colonial impacts on
indigenous society in Guam between  and , and vice versa, is that the
eects are measurable not on an archaeological scale alone, but rather as a
measure of the success with which the local Spanish, Mexican, Philippine, and
Chamorro cultures accommodated one another to form a unique experience.
Family names, language, religion, inheritance, land tenure, diet, folk beliefs,
natural medicine, and respect for elders and female authority are all encoded
proof

Archaeological Remains of Early Modern Spanish Colonialism on Guam
in inafa’maolek (interdependence within the kinship group), chenchule’ (gi
giving), and ayuda (Spanish for providing assistance or help)—Micronesian
practices that still resonate today in the Mariana Islands. e few copper
bells, iron nails or metal artifacts, Venetian glass or carnelian beads, English
transfer-print ceramics, Mexican majolica, Asian celadons or porcelains, and
foreign coins are still kept alongside Latte period lusong, pottery, slingstones,
and stone or shell adzes by certain families on Guam. In all these cases then
and now, what is shared is not just material goods, but a sense of spiritual and
communal continuity perpetuated by having shared this heritage for genera-
tions, beginning in the sixteenth to eighteenth century.
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... Colonial land use between Ferdinand Magellan's initial landfall in Guam on 6 March 1521 and the establishment of a permanent Spanish presence in Hagatna on 16 June 1668 is often referenced in the historical and archaeological literature of the islands (Brunal-Perry 2009;Graves 1986;Hunter-Anderson 1994;Peterson 2009), although the material record for such early interaction is quite sparse (Dixon, Jalandoni, and Craft 2017). Earlier maritime contact with mainland Asia or the islands of Southeast Asia before 1521 has been hinted at over the years and is suggested by the brisk exchange of food and fresh water, given to Magellan's crew by native Chamorro inhabitants for bits of Spanish iron to be fashioned into utilitarian tools (Farrell 2011;Quimby 2011). ...
... The quantity of artifacts from sixteenth to eighteenth century C.E. archaeological contexts is generally quite sparse, reflecting the low circulation of Western and Asian materials in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (Dixon, Jalandoni, and Craft 2017). This is to be expected given the low level of colonial investment from Spain in the Marianas colony and the resulting amalgamation of Chamorro and Spanish material culture. ...
... Latte Period pottery jars with thickened Type B rims were also present at a Colonial component of the site and sherds coated with burned lime mortar used in mamposteria (stone, mortar, and wooden posts) construction were found alongside small fragments of hand-made brick (Jalandoni 2011). Other artifacts of probable early Contact Period origin have been found on Guam and in the CNMI (Dixon, Jalandoni, and Craft 2017), but generally in surface proveniences or subsurface burials and caches lacking radiocarbon dated contexts. ...
... Possible evidence of combat-related wounds has been suggested in Contact Period (1521-1668 CE) skeletal populations in the Mariana Islands, but such individuals were rarely buried with securely dated non-native Chamorro (Dixon et al. 2017). Acts of violence and Chamorro deaths were recorded during the early visits of Magellan and Legaspi (Farrell 2011), although actual contact was rather limited between Europeans and Chamorro since most close encounters occurred on shore during very short visits to replenish fresh food and water and conduct limited trade. ...
... Always considered a specific Spanish practice, well known for the Philippines (Luque 2017) and the Marianas (e.g. Coello 2017; Dixon et al. 2017), the reducción was nonetheless a regular procedure used by both colonial powers in the region during Early Modern times. References to the forcible movement of aboriginal Taiwanese populations between different villages by the Spanish and Dutch in Taiwan are pervasive in the documents (SIT; FE; see Kang 2003Kang , 2010. ...
Article
Historical narratives on Oceania have over the last two centuries mainly focused on the second half of the eighteenth century as the significant period of first encounters between Pacific Islanders and Western explorers. However, the first crossing of the region by Fernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan) was in 1521. More importantly, it has been widely neglected that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese explorers navigated through parts of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, making regular landfalls and contact with many islands and archipelagos. The potentially devastating consequences of these early encounters (i.e., with interpersonal violence between natives and newcomers as well as the potential introduction of new deadly diseases) are well known for islands like Guam. They possibly also influenced the cultures and traditions of other archipelagos of Oceania before the better known voyages of Cook, La Perouse, and others more than 150 years later. Drawing on historical data and the scarcely available archaeological evidence, this paper aims to show that there is an urgent need to reconsider the early phase of Pacific-Western contacts as a key period in the shaping of the “traditional” indigenous cultural behaviors in parts of Oceania. This assessment has the potential to profoundly change our understanding of the ethnographical observations of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that have been produced and used in the last two centuries to define a baseline of the beginning of Western impacts on Indigenous societies in the region.
... Always considered a specific Spanish practice, well known for the Philippines (Luque 2017) and the Marianas (e.g. Coello 2017; Dixon et al. 2017), the reducción was nonetheless a regular procedure used by both colonial powers in the region during Early Modern times. References to the forcible movement of aboriginal Taiwanese populations between different villages by the Spanish and Dutch in Taiwan are pervasive in the documents (SIT; FE; see Kang 2003Kang , 2010. ...
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The paper is an introduction to the study of European migration into Asia-Pacific through the case study of northern Taiwan. Here, several Spanish and Dutch colonial outposts were founded during the first part of the seventeenth century. Since 2011 and up to 2016 we have uncovered six burials of the cemetery of the Spanish colony of San Salvador de Kelang (Heping Dao, Keelung) (1626–42). The cemetery was associated with the Convento de Todos los Santos, Convent of All Saints, also discovered anew during our excavations. DNA analysis shows that at least one of the individuals was of European descent. This finding is unprecedented in Asia-Pacific within this early chronological framework. The archaeological evidence stands in contrast to the scarcity of contemporary written information relating to death and burials, both in Spanish and Dutch sources. We use the written sources to contextualize the archaeological data, inquiring about the life trajectories of the European colonists in Taiwan, people who truly lived in a global world. We aim to synthesize these data to create a documentary background for future research towards a better understanding of the European migration patterns into Asia-Pacific within cultural, biological, and demographic dimensions. This study offers a valuable contrast with research on the same topic elsewhere in the world.
... The introduction of new material culture, normally taken for granted in colonial scholarship, is probably not a characteristic of early colonialism and certainly not in Asia-Pacific, neither Taiwan. In the Marianas a relative scarcity of remains of the long colonial period is also acknowledged (Bayman and Peterson 2016;Dixon et al. 2017). Further research could define this pattern but indeed the European material presence in most European colonies in Asia-Pacific tends to be feeble: Bit is possible that an originally weak material presence is further obscured by the local social practices: some Spanish material (sherds from one Spanish botija or olive jar), probably from Quirós' expedition, has been found farther north in the Banks Islands (Bedford et al. 2009:78-84), but nothing on the original colony of Espíritu Santo. ...
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We present the results of six years of archaeological work carried out in Heping Dao, Keelung, northern Taiwan. The site has revealed a rich archaeological record spanning a sequence that comprehends most of the history of Taiwan, including the most salient historical landmarks in it. The study of this long-term sequence of habitation in Heping Dao throughout prehistory to current times, allows us to attempt a historical archaeology of the longue duree of the place that in turn enables the establishment of comparisons between periods and raising of specific questions, among them: the general understanding of cultural transformation along the Neolithic and the Iron Age, and in turn the transition Iron Age/Aboriginal historic times in Taiwan, which in our view has to be observed as a history of continuity rather than of interruptions; the recognition of the Chinese presence in Taiwan in the pre-European period; the implantation of the European colony and its effects on the local populations; the differing material remains and impacts caused by the presence of pre-European Chinese and the Qing occupation; and the potential for a comparison between the European and the Japanese colonial projects as seen in the material record.
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En este artículo partiré del lema de María Galindo — no se puede descolonizar sin despatriarcalizar — para reivindicar que funciona en ambos sentidos. Aunque el patriarcado apareció ya en la prehistoria, entiendo que los procesos coloniales iniciados por las potencias europeas durante el siglo XV supusieron un punto de inflexión para entender su configuración actual. Por ello, creo que despatriarcalizar implica también descolonizar, y viceversa, algo que intentamos poner en práctica desde el proyecto ABERIGUA, que investiga el impacto del colonialismo ibérico de época moderna en Guam y las islas Marianas (Pacífico occidental). Concretamente, me centraré en acciones relacionadas con su patrimonio arqueológico y con la memoria histórica que se está construyendo en Guam y en España en relación al quinto centenario de la expedición Magallanes (1519-1522).
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This article proposes that early modern globalization took shape through the global circulation of gender ideologies, sexual politics, engendered technologies, and engendered knowledge. It does so by exploring the early years of Jesuit missions in Guam (Mariana Islands) and describes mission policies as engendered sexual policies that fostered the emergence of a new sex/gender system within indigenous Chamorro society. These policies targeted, among others, the sphere of maintenance activities. This concept highlights the foregrounding nature of a set of routine everyday practices that are essential to social continuity. Guam offers an interesting case study to discuss how gender transformations were performed and implemented on the ground, and what they entailed for those who experienced them.
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The Marianas iron trade, the earliest sustained cultural interaction and material exchange between Pacific Islanders and Europeans, extended from Magellan's 1521 visit to the 1668 Spanish mission. In a paradigm of cross-cultural exchange and technology appropriation, the trade represents a continuum of interaction that produced a structure and process for reliable access to a valued exogenous resource, which high-status Islanders integrated into their industries and reciprocity regimes. As the exchange (and related repatriation initiatives for sojourning clerics and galleon castaways) became a recurring, rewarding activity over several generations, it created conceptual categories for people previously unknown to each other, a related suite of values and attitudes, and corresponding behavioural and social adaptations. This 'culture of culture contact' generated dynamic Islander-Spanish intercourse, positive trade relationships and political entanglements which provided a receptive milieu for missionaries dedicated to social transformation and political consolidation under Spain's Patranado Real system of imperial expansion and administration.
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The gendered division of labor in household economies is well known in documentary accounts of many societies, although archaeological evidence for it is often elusive. Our study compares ethnohistorical accounts of household organization with archaeological patterns at a 17th-century village on the island of Guam in the Marianas archipelago to determine if these different sources of evidence provide similar insights. We investigated archaeological assemblages from two latte (megalithic) buildings to document their economic activities. Unexpected differences in their assemblages revealed that economic activities varied between the two latte buildings. They were domiciles of a single economically integrated household, but their disparate functions likely signaled a gendered division of labor. This study reveals aspects of gendered labor that documentary accounts do not fully describe. Our findings suggest that the assumption that domestic buildings were functionally redundant in traditional societies must be tested on a case-by-case basis.
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