Anguilla

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Anguilla (pronounced /æŋˈɡwɪlə/ ang-GWIL) is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. It consists of the main island of Anguilla itself, approximately 26 km (16 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The island's capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 91 km2 (35 sq mi),[3] with a population of approximately 13,500 (2006 estimate). It lies east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin.

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History

Anguilla was first settled by Amerindian tribes who migrated from South America. The earliest Amerindian artifacts found on Anguilla have been dated to around 1300 BC, and remains of settlements date from 600 AD.[4] The date of European discovery is uncertain: some sources claim that Columbus sighted the island in 1493, while others state that the island was first discovered by the French in 1564 or 1565.[5] The name Anguilla derives from the word for "eel" in any of various Romance languages (modern Spanish: anguila; French: anguille; Italian: anguilla), probably chosen because of the island's eel-like shape.

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