Saba's first inhabitants

A story of 3300 years of Amerindian occupation prior to European contact (1800 BC - AD 1492)

Corinne L. Hofman & Menno M.L.P Hoogland | 2016

Saba's first inhabitants

A story of 3300 years of Amerindian occupation prior to European contact (1800 BC - AD 1492)

Corinne L. Hofman & Menno M.L.P Hoogland | 2016

ISBN: 9789088903595

Imprint: Sidestone Press | Format: 150x210mm Paperback | 112 pp. | Language: English | 100 illus. (fc) | Category: Caribbean archaeology, Caribbean history, ethnohistory, Amerindians, Ancient Americas, pre-Columbian, Saba | download cover

This book tells the story of the indigenous inhabitants of Saba prior to European colonization, based on 30 years of archaeological research conducted by Leiden University in collaboration with the government and people of Saba.

The pre-colonial history of Saba begins around 3800 years ago with the first fishers-foragers and plant managers occupying the interior of the island at Plum Piece, Fort Bay, The Level and Great Point. The exceptional character of Saba with its volcano, diverse vegetation, and fauna, attracted Amerindian communities from the prime episode of human occupation of the insular Caribbean, first on a temporary basis and later, from AD 400 on, permanently. They then settled in Spring Bay, Kelbey’s Ridge, Windwardside, St. Johns, and The Bottom just like today. Their villages consisted of a series of dwellings of wood, fibres and leafs, surrounded by hearths and garbage dumps. The deceased were buried in the village, often under the floor of the houses.

The Amerindians on Saba maintained extensive relationships with communities and kin on neighbouring islands. The artefacts which have been found on Saba show these connections.

Foreword
by Jay B. Haviser

Preface
by Corinne L. Hofman and Menno L.P. Hoogland

1. Saba, an isolated island?
Island setting
Amerindian settlement patterns

2. Pre-Colonial history of Saba
Amerindian occupation of Saba
Tales of the Europeans

3. Island life 3800 years ago
Saba’s first inhabitants

4. Fishers, collectors, foragers and horticulturalists
Village life
Handicrafts
Worldview

5. Archaeologiscal sites on Saba before 1492
Archaeological investigations on Saba
Guided tour of major Amerindian sites

Prof. dr. Menno M.L.P Hoogland

Menno Hoogland is associate professor in Caribbean archaeology. He was born in 1954 in Sliedrecht, studied cultural anthropology in Leiden with a focus on prehistory and physical anthropology. In 1980 he participated in the Spitsbergen expedition of the University of Groningen. He wrote his PhD thesis on settlement patterns of the Amerindian population of Saba, Netherlands Antilles.

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Prof. dr. Corinne L. Hofman

Corinne Hofman is professor in Caribbean archaeology At Leiden University. After obtaining a B.A. degree in art history and archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, she followed classes in pre-Columbian archaeology at Leiden University and completed her M.A. in 1987 with a research focus on the Caribbean. Her M.A. research was on the archaeology of Saba, Netherlands Antilles. Continuing her archaeological research on Saba during her PhD, she wrote her dissertation on the ceramic chronology of Saba. Since then her investigations and teaching focus on the Caribbean, involving ceramic analysis and settlement studies, with special attention to inter-insular relationships.

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Abstract:

This book tells the story of the indigenous inhabitants of Saba prior to European colonization, based on 30 years of archaeological research conducted by Leiden University in collaboration with the government and people of Saba.

The pre-colonial history of Saba begins around 3800 years ago with the first fishers-foragers and plant managers occupying the interior of the island at Plum Piece, Fort Bay, The Level and Great Point. The exceptional character of Saba with its volcano, diverse vegetation, and fauna, attracted Amerindian communities from the prime episode of human occupation of the insular Caribbean, first on a temporary basis and later, from AD 400 on, permanently. They then settled in Spring Bay, Kelbey’s Ridge, Windwardside, St. Johns, and The Bottom just like today. Their villages consisted of a series of dwellings of wood, fibres and leafs, surrounded by hearths and garbage dumps. The deceased were buried in the village, often under the floor of the houses.

The Amerindians on Saba maintained extensive relationships with communities and kin on neighbouring islands. The artefacts which have been found on Saba show these connections.

Contents

Foreword
by Jay B. Haviser

Preface
by Corinne L. Hofman and Menno L.P. Hoogland

1. Saba, an isolated island?
Island setting
Amerindian settlement patterns

2. Pre-Colonial history of Saba
Amerindian occupation of Saba
Tales of the Europeans

3. Island life 3800 years ago
Saba’s first inhabitants

4. Fishers, collectors, foragers and horticulturalists
Village life
Handicrafts
Worldview

5. Archaeologiscal sites on Saba before 1492
Archaeological investigations on Saba
Guided tour of major Amerindian sites

Prof. dr. Menno M.L.P Hoogland

Menno Hoogland is associate professor in Caribbean archaeology. He was born in 1954 in Sliedrecht, studied cultural anthropology in Leiden with a focus on prehistory and physical anthropology. In 1980 he participated in the Spitsbergen expedition of the University of Groningen. He wrote his PhD thesis on settlement patterns of the Amerindian population of Saba, Netherlands Antilles.

read more

Prof. dr. Corinne L. Hofman

Corinne Hofman is professor in Caribbean archaeology At Leiden University. After obtaining a B.A. degree in art history and archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, she followed classes in pre-Columbian archaeology at Leiden University and completed her M.A. in 1987 with a research focus on the Caribbean. Her M.A. research was on the archaeology of Saba, Netherlands Antilles. Continuing her archaeological research on Saba during her PhD, she wrote her dissertation on the ceramic chronology of Saba. Since then her investigations and teaching focus on the Caribbean, involving ceramic analysis and settlement studies, with special attention to inter-insular relationships.

read more









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