Banwarie Trace Archaeological Site

World Monuments Watch
Oropuche Lagoon, Trinidad and Tobago

2004 World Monuments Watch

Dated to 5000 B.C. Banwarie Trace on the island of Trinidad is the oldest Archaic site in the West Indies. Discovered in 1967, the site, essentially a rich shell midden, is some 30 meters in diameter and has yielded abundant human remains and stone and bone tools that would have been used for fishing, food processing, and canoe building. The site has provided a wealth of information on the migration of Archaic peoples from mainland South America to the Lesser Antilles between 5000 and 2000 B.C. While the area is “bushed” on occasion and plans have been discussed to fence its perimeter, the site currently lays unprotected under a layer of moderate to heavy vegetation. The archaeological committee that oversees the site has worked to keep it clear of vegetation and squatters, however, it does not have the resources or capacity to develop and implement a proper cultural resource management program. It is hoped that listing will help garner the financial and technical support necessary to properly survey, document, preserve, interpret, and protect the site.

Since the Watch

Since the 2004 Watch, the protection of site continues to be threatened. A proposed extension to the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway would encroach within 200 meters of the Banwarie Trace site, further endangering the already neglected archaeological site.October 2014

Last updated: July 2017.

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