Local April 14, 2023 | 9:14 am

The oldest dwelling in the Antilles is in the Dominican Republic: 5,500 years

The oldest dwelling in the Antilles, dating back around 5,500 years, has been discovered in Samaná, northeast of the Dominican Republic. This finding, along with the nearby ritual burial site discovered by archaeologist Adolfo López and his team last year, is changing the perception of the first inhabitants of the Antilles. Instead of being viewed as “less organized groups of nomadic people,” it is now apparent that they were settled in specific locations.

López and his team, in collaboration with the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic and the García Arévalo Foundation, have been conducting excavations that aim to understand the movements and settlement patterns of these early groups of people. The latest excavation led to the discovery of more dwellings close to the first site, and carbon 14 tests confirmed their age to be around 3,500 years before Christ.

The findings shed light on the social complexity and cultural level of these groups, with evidence showing that they had an area for living and a separate area for burying their dead. They lived in large huts supported by geological rock formations and had a diverse diet that included fishing. The archaeologists are now trying to determine whether these settlers were engaged in agriculture. If arable plants are found among the remains, it would suggest that they were already farming at that time. López emphasizes the significance of these findings as they provide insight into the origin of the current population in the Antilles. He likens the discovery to finding the homo antecessor in Europe.

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Ramon Garcia
April 14, 2023 10:27 am

I would share this but I don’t like the picture.