Ceramic Body Stamp from Mill Reef (reconstruction)
current research
Introduction Archaic Age Historical Period Common Myths Historical Timeline

Ceramic Age
Pre Columbian Saladoid

By 500 BC, seafaring people from the lowland region of the Orinoco River, South America migrated into and established settlements as far north as Puerto Rico. As a horticultural people, they innitially occupied wetter and more fertile islands that best accomodated their needs. These Amerindians were an Arawak speaking culture. They brought with them many traditions including pottery making. Their unique and highly decorated pottery has enabled archaeologist to recognise their sites and to determine their places of origin.

The origins of the Island Arawaks have been traced to the lower Orinoco River near the modern settlements of Saladero and Barrancas in Venezuela. As we do notknow what they called themselves, they have been given the name of the sites where their unique pottery
Pre Columbian Saladoid Dog Head/Monkey Head

styles were first recognised. The suffix "oid" has been in this cultural classification. Hence, the name Saladoid is used by archaeologists, to identify the peoples of the early ceramic age.

Post Saladoid
By 600AD, the Saladoid people and culture was well established throughout the Lesser Antilles. As their population increased, they began to occupy more of the islands including the dryer limestone islands. By 900 AD, their sites on Antigua can best be described as coastal
fishing villages, for they were positioned directly on the seafront in close proximity to rich marine resource zones, such as reefs, mangroves, and shellfish beds. These late period sites can be recognised by their large shell middens.

Sites: Muddy Bay (1,290 AD); Winthorpes West (1,285 AD).

  ceramic age whole vessel excavated from Royall's site