Section 7
Chapter 6,903

Vertebrates from archaeological sites on barbuda west indies

Watters, D.R.; Reitz, E.J.; Steadman, D.W.; Pregill, G.K.

Annals of Carnegie Museum 53(13): 383-412


ISSN/ISBN: 0097-4463
Accession: 006902128

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Identifications of fish, reptile, bird and mammal bones are reported from 3 prehistoric sites on Barbuda. The sites of Indiantown Trail, Sufferers and Overview Cave contain few examples of the distinctive ceramics associated with the initial Saladoid colonization of the Lesser Antilles in the 1st centuries A.D. All of Barbuda's sites represent more recent, post-Saladoid occupation except for a possible late Saladoid (Mill Reef) component at the Sufferers site. Marine vertebrate remains from these sites represent bony fish, shark, manatee (Trichechus manatus), and a shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri). Most of the species of fish occur either in inshore waters or over shallow reefs, 2 habitats that abound near Barbuda. Terrestrial vertebrates are represented by 2 species of lizards (notably including the extinct iguanid, Leiocephalus cuneus), 2 spp. of doves, and an extinct oryzomyine rodent. Fragmentary turtle remains could represent either marine species (Cheloniidae) or the tortoise Geochelone carbonaria. Of the 2516 bones in the sample, 2503 (MNI [minimum number of individuals] = 147) are from uncontaminated units. By count, fish remains constitute 95% of the bones from uncontaminated units; 27% of the fish remains were identifiable to family or lower taxa. This sample reveals some important new records for the vertebrate fauna of Barbuda. The vertebrate assemblage from Indiantown Trail (MNI = 136) contains the greatest number of specimens and diversity of species of the 3 sites.

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