Did someone see the 2nd show last Monday? It was about the Taino
Yes for some reason the Taino episode was aired rather than the previously indicated Chririqui one.
He started with a fair bit of tree hacking with his machete in order to climb a mountain in Santo Domingo for a cave with Taino paintings. Later however it became more of visit to musea (or at least to back room with skulls, bones and small artifacts still in boxes) both in the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico (PR). The sites on Santo Domingo were wood/thatch so not a lot to see - other than small artifacts and conch shell middens! There was a lot of mystical philosophising about their possible beliefs. He met his old Caribbean Archaeology teacher in PR, found a few people with Taino genes there and "communed" with them on their beliefs/watched their dancing. I was left with the question as to how much all of this was "authentic" and how much "created" post facto rather like Victorian "druids" created their rituals! He did refer to Spanish records of early contacts but we were never shown these or taken through them and I was still left feeling rather as I did when watching Easter Islanders "do" their "Polynesian dancing" - Disneyfication??
One aspect of interest in a WHS sense was his visit to the Taino site of Caguana which was placed 109th in our list of Top 50 missing sites (I have visited it in PR but didn't vote for it even though I feel it should be on the list in order to "represent" Caribbean pre-Columbian cultures)
Another WHS related aspect was his visit to the first Spanish settlement in the Americas which is on the Dominican Republic's T List at La Isabela - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Isabela
. It was interesting to see the Taino artefacts being excavated with the Spanish ones and to hear a little about those very early contacts. I was surpsied also to see the "Taino" people in PR and to hear that c 60% (???) of the population of PR carry Taino gene markers - would have liked to know much more about this and how "pure" any of these really are regarding European/African admixture. I always think of Dominica and the so-called "Carib" villages there with much the same question . On that matter he failed to relate the Taino to groups we know as "Arawak" and "Carib" other than to say that Arawak was a sort of lingua franca across the islands where a great deal of trade and intermarriage etc was taking place in pre-Columbian times. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Caribs
Caguana not withstanding he obviously lacked the "wow factor" sites of the Olmec and (to come) Teotihuacan - we will have to see about the Chiriqui - I guess he will go to Guayabo as well (which I have also visited) even though i have never seen it claimed as "Chiriqui" - indeed I have never seen it assigned to any pre-Columbian group/culture/civilisation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guayabo_National_Monument
Generally I enjoyed the program as shedding some light (for me at least!!) on a culture I know little about.