Archaeologist finds more artifacts at Argyle
May 14, 2010
Archaeologist finds more artifacts at Argyle

More artifacts have been discovered at the archaeological site at Argyle, dating as far back as Saladoid, Pre Colombian and colonial times.{{more}}

A presentation on the discoveries at the site was delivered to an audience of archaeologists and students at the St. Vincent National Trust Headquarters on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. The students and archaeologists came from several universities in countries such as Holland and Sweden.

Dr. Richard Callaghan Associate Professor (Caribbean Archaeology) in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary presenting on the findings, explained that there are several pottery pieces, skeletons, as well as post holes at the site.

Callaghan explained that during the months of January and February 2009, a team of archaeologists conducted mitigative excavations at Argyle.

A topographical map, Callaghan said, was used to assess the areas for excavation and testing.

One of the things investigated at the Escape site were the community structures. Callaghan showed, via a power point presentation, a series of post holes that were discovered during excavations. The post holes, he said, formed a rectangular structure measuring about 36 meters east to west and 5 and a half meters north to south.

Pottery remains and other artifacts were also recovered dating as far back as the 1700s, as well as late saladoid, and pre-Columbian times.

Showing the structure of a 1670 tobacco drying shed, Callaghan noted that the post holes reflect a similar structure but added that factors such as the location of the houses, the build of the house and the fact that tobacco was not grown on the windward side of the island at that time means that the rectangular structures at escape may be something else.

Callaghan noted that burial sites were also unearthed in twenty-four locations at Escape. The burials, he stated, were characteristic of primary and secondary burials. A primary burial is where the body is buried and not moved, while the secondary burial shows sign of movement or disturbance of the body.

Skeletal remains found include entire skeletons as well as partial skeletons. Callaghan stated that due to the fragility of the bones and the lack of collagen in the bones, the exact age of the skeletons could not be determined. However, pottery and beads found in the grave sites assisted in determining the era in which the skeletons came from. Five graves contained these beads and pottery pieces.

Other pottery pieces, ceramic and stones and beads were also discovered at the site characteristic of late Saladoid and pre-Columbian times.

Archaeological excavations are expected to continue at the Escape site and other sites around St. Vincent.(OS)