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Excavations White Marl, Jamaica

In a three way collaboration between the Nexus 1492 group, the Department of History and Archaeology at UWI Mona, and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, excavations are currently being undertaken at the site of White Marl, Jamaica (AD 900-1500).

Excavations at the site of White Marl, Jamaica, May 2018 (photo courtesy of Dr. Zach Beier, UWI Mona)

White Marl

White Marl is known as one of the largest and densest precolonial settlements on the island, and is characterized by large mounded middens, numerous human burials, White Marl style pottery (a local variant of Meillacoid pottery), and a rich array of material remains including green stone axes and decorated shell adornments. The recent research at the site is being undertaken due to the impending expansion of the Nelson Mandela highway, which will impact important sections of the site. In the current field campaign, deposits of human bones, as well as a human burial in seated position have been identified. The excavations have also produced large collections of food remains and pottery, which can be further investigated by specialist researchers to understand foodways and ceramic manufacture at White Marl.

Excavations at the site of White Marl, Jamaica, May 2018 (photo courtesy of Zach Beier, UWI Mona)

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