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HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Pilot project at Amerindian site

Heather-Lynn Evanson, [email protected]

HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Pilot project at Amerindian site

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A TECHNOLOGICAL PILOT PROJECT has been rolled out on one of the few local Amerindian sites.

It’s being done at the Three Houses, St Philip Amerindian site by the husband and wife archaeological team of Jochem and Maaike de Waal, who are currently in the island.

“We want to test a new survey method but it is also a pilot to see how things are organised on this inland site,” said de Waal, who specialises in Caribbean archaeology at Leiden University a in The Netherlands.

“This is an intriguing site for us because it’s not really concentrated on the coast. It’s a bit further inland and it’s really, really large so we’ve been on the site several times and we have not seen the extent yet.

“What we will try to do is to get a grip on where the different components are but that’s quite difficult because . . . the site is quite large,” she said.

Jochem explained that the team would be collecting surface material, mapping where it was found and in what concentrations in an attempt to get an idea of the make-up of the site.

“But it is a lot of work because you have to collect material for one square metre at one location and at another location you collect another square metre of everything on the surface and that takes a lot of time because the site is so large. So you have to do a lot of collecting before you get an image of the site.”

He said based on the fact that the shells were white against the almost black soil, the aerial imagery should give the team an idea of where the concentrations were highest.

Maaike added that the Amerindians had been living in villages along the coasts from around 500 AD up to around 1 500 AD. That, she said, had been determined by the different types of pottery that had been found. That pottery, she added, was from cooking pots and storage vessels.