Geoarchaeological investigations of St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica: The search for the Columbus Caravels and an assessment of 1000 years of human land use Academic Article uri icon


  • A complex interbedded sequence of shallow bay, alluvial fan, and lagoon/marsh facies was revealed during geoarchaeological investigations of St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. Eighteen radiocarbon ages and timediagnostic artifacts were obtained from these sediments. From these data, the landscape evolution of St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, during the last 4800 years is reconstructed. The landscape reconstructions for St. Ann's Bay are used to identify areas where the two caravels abandoned by Christopher Columbus in A. D. 1504 might be located. In addition, two periods of rapid sedimentation, one from A. D. 1000 to 1300 (lagoon filling) and the other between A. D. 1700 and modern times (bay filling), are attributed to human land use around St. Ann's Bay. The earlier period of increased sedimentation corresponds to the introduction and expansion of native peoples to the north side of the island, who brought with them slashandburn agriculture. The later period of increased sedimentation in the bay corresponds to the intensification of agricultural use of the area by the Spanish and British. 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright 1993 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company

published proceedings

  • Geoarchaeology

author list (cited authors)

  • Waters, M. R., Giardino, J. R., Ryter, D. W., & Parrent, J. M.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Waters, Michael R||Giardino, John R||Ryter, Derek W||Parrent, James M

publication date

  • July 1993