Categorized | Local, News

Ancient stone carvings found on Montserrat

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun.3, CMC – Archaeologists believe that ancient stone carvings discovered here could offer valuable insight into the island’s pre-colonial history.

960The petroglyphs – which appear to depict geometric designs as well as beings of some kind were carved into the side of a mossy boulder in the densely forested hills in the island’s north.

Petroglyphs left behind by indigenous peoples have been found throughout the region but until now had never been seen on Montserrat or nearby Antigua.

Locals stumbled across the carvings while hiking through the hills in January, but officials delayed announcing the discovery until the petroglyphs’ authenticity could be confirmed by researchers.

“We have Amerindian artifacts on the island, but had not seen petroglyphs,” said Sarita Francis, director of the Montserrat National Trust. “These are the first, that we know of, that have been found here.”

Initial analysis suggests Montserrat’s petroglyphs are between 1,000 and 1,500 years old, Francis said, though carbon dating will paint a clearer picture of the images’ origins.

On social media, Montserratians commented on the petroglyphs’ similarities to those that have been found on St Kitts.

Mentore said indigenous Arawak petroglyphs and other evidence of pre-Columbian settlement have been as far north as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Francis said she hoped further studies will reveal the messages, if any, encoded in the carvings. “They really add to Montserrat’s unique history,” she said. “To the history of people being on Montserrat, throughout time.”

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient peoples first lived here between 2,500 and 4,000 years ago.

George Mentore, a University of Virginia anthropologist who studies the indigenous cultures of the Caribbean and Amazonia told the Guardian that similar engravings had been found along rivers in the north of South America where Arawak- and Carib-speaking groups live today.

“They’re obvious statements of human presence,” he said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re sacred, in one way or another.”

Leave a Reply

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun.3, CMC – Archaeologists believe that ancient stone carvings discovered here could offer valuable insight into the island’s pre-colonial history.

960The petroglyphs – which appear to depict geometric designs as well as beings of some kind were carved into the side of a mossy boulder in the densely forested hills in the island’s north.

Petroglyphs left behind by indigenous peoples have been found throughout the region but until now had never been seen on Montserrat or nearby Antigua.

Insert Ads Here

Locals stumbled across the carvings while hiking through the hills in January, but officials delayed announcing the discovery until the petroglyphs’ authenticity could be confirmed by researchers.

“We have Amerindian artifacts on the island, but had not seen petroglyphs,” said Sarita Francis, director of the Montserrat National Trust. “These are the first, that we know of, that have been found here.”

Initial analysis suggests Montserrat’s petroglyphs are between 1,000 and 1,500 years old, Francis said, though carbon dating will paint a clearer picture of the images’ origins.

On social media, Montserratians commented on the petroglyphs’ similarities to those that have been found on St Kitts.

Mentore said indigenous Arawak petroglyphs and other evidence of pre-Columbian settlement have been as far north as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Francis said she hoped further studies will reveal the messages, if any, encoded in the carvings. “They really add to Montserrat’s unique history,” she said. “To the history of people being on Montserrat, throughout time.”

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient peoples first lived here between 2,500 and 4,000 years ago.

George Mentore, a University of Virginia anthropologist who studies the indigenous cultures of the Caribbean and Amazonia told the Guardian that similar engravings had been found along rivers in the north of South America where Arawak- and Carib-speaking groups live today.

“They’re obvious statements of human presence,” he said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re sacred, in one way or another.”