1,500-year-old shell midden discovered on Virgin Islands

Crews renovating a public square in the U.S. Virgin Islands have discovered a 1,500-year-old landfill stuffed with shells, bones and pottery fragments.

1,500-year-old shell midden discovered in Virgin Islands
Example of a shell midden from Fort George Island, Florida [Credit: NPS]
Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls says a team of specialized archaeologists will arrive soon to further excavate the pre-Columbian site. It is located in the capital of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.

Smalls said Wednesday that the landfill, known as a midden, features hundreds of sea snail shells and bones from fish, birds, rodents and marine mammals. He said some of the pottery fragments feature stylized eyes.

Smalls said local historians who analyzed the midden have determined it is among the most important sites of its age on St. Thomas.

Source: Associated Press [February 13, 2013]

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