1000 BC to 200 BC
The first humans arrived in the Virgin Islands around 1000 BC, in what we now call the the Archaic Period. These people originated from the Orinoco River in South America.
Archeologists have discovered Archaic Period hunter-gatherer sites along the south shore of St. John. One of these sites is a food processing site with extensive midden (waste from food preparation) remains mixed with hearths. The site’s earliest date is 840 BC making it the second oldest prehistoric site dated in the Virgin Islands. The site’s temporal range is made up of significant isolated material deposits that could help define human occupation in the Virgin Islands to AD 770. The various cultural deposits at the site were carbon dated to between 840-700 BC, 650-490 BC, 260-140 BC, 130 BC-AD 170, AD 290-450 and AD 670-870. This site alone covers almost every century that leads up to and beyond the first ceramic (Saladoid) settlers to the Virgin Islands. Other Archaic sites in the park are dedicated to lithic (stone) manufacturing and other resource gathering activities that date to around 400 BC.
Did You Know?
A wasp common to St. John is called the Jack Spaniard. These paper wasps are not aggressive, but will sting you repeatedly if disturbed. The sting can be quite painful, and should be treated with common sting relief remedies. The discomfort can last three days.