Excavations at Heywoods, Barbados, and the Economic Basis of the Suazoid Period in the Lesser Antilles

Peter L. Drewett, Mary Hill Harris, Lee Ann Newsom, Elizabeth S. Wing

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The Suazoid period lasted some three hundred years (c. ad 1100—1400) in a small geographic area in the Lesser Antilles from Tobago to Southern Martinique. Defined by a relatively narrow ceramic series, the people represented by this material are still poorly understood. Deriving from peoples from mainland South America, they evolved a marine-based settlement area of some 35,000 square miles including six main islands and many smaller ones. This paper discusses the economic basis for one Suazoid group based on evidence from test-pitting an extensive site at Heywoods, Barbados. Formerly a mangrove swamp, the site yielded extensive evidence for a marine-based economy. In addition, the first evidence on Barbados for an Archaic presence (c. 2000 bc) was located, together with Saladoid (c. 200 bc—ad 650) and Troumassoid (c. ad 650—1100) activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-137
Number of pages25
JournalProceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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