Published — Thursday 14 February 2013
Last update 15 February 2013 12:59 am
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, US Virgin Islands: Crews renovating a public square in the US Virgin Islands have discovered a 1,500-year-old landfill stuffed with shells, bones and pottery fragments, the government said Wednesday.
A team of specialized archaeologists will arrive soon to further excavate the pre-Columbian site, located in the capital of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, said Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls.
The landfill, historically known as a midden, features hundreds of sea snail shells and bones from fish, birds, rodents and marine mammals.
“From this, the archaeologists can learn about what the first people of Charlotte Amalie ate, their environment and life,” Smalls said. “This will be our only chance to connect to the people who lived here 1,500 years ago.”
Some of the pottery fragments feature stylized eyes, Smalls said.
“The pottery is beautifully made, thin with very smooth surfaces,” he said.
Smalls said local historians who analyzed the midden have determined it is one of the most important sites of its age on St. Thomas.