Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Tobago Heritage Conservation Society volunteers spent five (5) hours each on Saturday and Sunday at the recently discovered site TOB-94, informed Angelo Bissessarsingh’s Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago.
As per the update, the volunteers unearthed, using the tools and facilities provided by the enthusiastic amateur historian owner of the site, many more artefacts from the Troumassoid Series, a ceramic tradition dating from 850 AD – 1450 AD in Tobago.
Artefacts from the Dutch occupation, as well as the British, were also retrieved, cleaned, and sorted.
More volunteer hours will be spent cataloguing them. Stone pendants were an unexpected find. The stone from which they were manufactured is to be identified.
This August 2023 archaeological dig organised by the THCS and the site owner was the first to take place on Tobago since the early 2000s at Friendship (Steadman et al.)
Tobago is known to have dozens of sites worthy of archaeological attention.
This 2023 project could be the beginning of a more active period of archaeological activity in Tobago.
“Thank you to all the participants!” it expressed through social media.
Furthermore, it shared the survey of the site location, which resulted in the following:
• Site of Amerindian settlements and/or campsites in the pre-colonial era.
• Site of a Dutch settlement in the late 1600s. Warehouses and residences of the colony were located here, as well as fortifications, including Fort Sterreschans at the nearby Dutch Fort.
• The 1677 Battle of Rockley Bay. The French attacked the Dutch in this bloody battle, defeating them for possession of the island by year’s end.
• Tobago was declared one of the neutral islands in 1684, remaining so for 64 years; anyone was free to settle on the island in this period.
• Tobago was ceded to Britain in 1763, and Scarborough was designated the island’s capital in 1769.
• The French captured Tobago in 1781. Scarborough was renamed Port Louis in 1790. French soldiers started a mutiny under the influence of the French Revolution. Scarborough was burnt to the ground.
• By 1803, Britain regained Tobago, marking the last time the island changed hands between the European powers.
Rockley Bay, or Rocky Bay, is the bay in the Scarborough Harbour. Its name is derived from the Dutch name for it, Roocdklip Bay, meaning Red Rock Bay.