Of the three recognized 'Ages' of Pre-Columbian migration into the Caribbean, Lithic (6500 BC to 2000 BC), Archaic (4000 BC to AD 500) and Ceramic (400 BC to contact), evidence for the earliest two has yet to be discovered in Jamaica, which was seemingly not settled until AD 600. This research creates a predictive GIS model, based in the ideal free distribution, to identify likely areas of potential Archaic occupation on Jamaica's southwest coast, understand the impact of modern development on these areas, how they relate to known Redware sites (AD 600 – AD900) and where to begin field survey of these areas. Seventeen areas of high potential (hotspots), based on surrounding environmental variables and lack of modern development, were identified. Discovery of an Archaic Age settlement of Jamaica would potentially lengthen the human history of the island significantly and have significant implications for human migration routes into the Caribbean.
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Thesis advisor: Giovas, Christina
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