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Archaeology at La IsabelaAmerica's First European Town$
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Kathleen Deagan and Jose Maria Cruxent

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300090413

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300090413.001.0001

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The Medieval Enclave

The Medieval Enclave

Organization of Space at La Isabela

(p.85) 5 The Medieval Enclave
Archaeology at La Isabela

Kathleen Deagan

José María Cruxent

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the organization of space at La Isabela. Life in the Spanish community of La Isabela was both structured and reflected by the intentional organization of space. La Isabela was initially established as a military base and trading center, and it was the clear intent of Columbus to establish a town that would become the capital of Spain's American colony. These intentions were materially expressed not only in the personnel and supplies brought on the expedition, but also in the ways the Spaniards lay out and physically organized their settlement. This fundamental aspect of Isabela has been recovered and understood almost exclusively from an archaeological perspective. The stone buildings are oriented in relation to the immediate topography of the rocky shelf on which the public part of the site was located.

Keywords:   La Isabela, Spanish community, stone buildings

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