Skip to comments.What ecosystem greeted the first human settlers in the northern Caribbean?
Posted on 02/15/2014 1:07:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv
...reports on an intriguing fossil deposit discovered on Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas in 2009. The fossils are embedded in a layer of peat organic soil that is buried under beach sand and is only exposed a few days a year, during extremely low tides... Their finds range from remains of an extinct large tortoise (Albury's tortoise) to the extirpated Cuban crocodile (no longer found anywhere except a small region of Cuba), to small fragments of plants and mollusks.
Radiocarbon dating shows the peat and its fossils to be 900-950 years old, which coincides with the first arrival of people on Abaco. (These first settlers were Lucayan Taino Amerindians the first peoples encountered by Christopher Columbus in the New World, 500 years later.)
The charcoal-rich sediments suggest that the peat was deposited very quickly when these agricultural people first colonized the island and began to clear land for their crops by burning. Thus, fossils retrieved from this peat deposit in Gilpin Point, Abaco, represent animal life at the time of first human presence.
Of the 17 identified species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals the researchers found, only 10 still live on Abaco a major change in the animal life on the island. Unhealed bite marks on the inside of the thick carapaces of the green turtle show that they were scavenged by Cuban crocodiles after being butchered by humans.
The concentrated remains of large, edible animals suggest that this was an Amerindian kitchen midden. Frustratingly, the researchers initially found almost no cultural artifacts in the peat deposit. The most direct evidence of humans eventually discovered was one tiny polished shell bead. However, the deposit is only occasionally exposed and, undoubtedly, it has a large extent that is yet to be observed, much less studied.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
The Gilpin Point peat, Abaco Island, The Bahamas, is only exposed during extremely low tides. Credit: Nancy Albury
And there were no frozen margaritas....
Many muches of sorry for the harsh word use.
Been “debating” with AGW worshiping freaks this morning. Kinda had my mad on.
That island appears to be 6’ above sea level. Couldn’t they punch a hole inland about 5’ deep to get to the peat layer, instead of waiting for the one lowest tide of the year?
Additional research will show that these bite marks were indeed inflicted by white, European settlers who also brought global warming with them, leading to the extinction of these fine animals as well as the demise of the local Lucayan Taino Amerindians.
My guess would be the northern Caribbean ecosystem.
The peat doesn’t seem to be what they are after, as much as the human artifacts in the peat. This “midden”, or ancient refuse heap, is what is located underwater.