Saladoid archaeology on St. Vincent, West Indies : results of the 1993/1994 University of Manitoba survey
Duval, David Timothy
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The Saladoid period (ca. 200 B.C. - ca. 600 A.D.), on the island of St. Vincent in the West Indies is not well understood, despite the fact that it is well represented on other islands in the Lesser Antilles (especially Martinique) and on the South American mainland, particularly the lower Orinoco and the coastal regions of Guyana. The appearance of Saladoid ceramics in the West Indies is associated with both the introduction of agriculture and the introduction of ceramic technology. During a survey conducted on St. Vincent in 1993 and 1994, six archaeological sites were located that yielded ceramic remains that are primarily associated with this period. The analysis of these ceramics, using an attribute analysis method, is presented in this study. Attributes of lip shapes, vessel shapes, decoration are examined, as well as technological characteristics. As a result, two definitive archaeological styles, Kingstown Post Office and Brighton, can be identified within the period in which the island chain was initially colonised by Saladoid peoples (Horizon I). The Arnos Vale sty1e, characteristic of Horizon II, exhibits less variability, and seems to best represent a region-wide increase in stylistic elements in the pottery that can be traced to the Barrancoid series on the South American mainland. Evidence for agricultural activities during the Saladoid period is suggested in light of the appearance of clay griddles and perhaps large open- mouthed vessels, both of which are used in the preparation of manioc.
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