History of Trinidad and Tobago

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The history of Trinidad and Tobago begins with the settlements of the islands by Amerindians. Both islands were explored by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage in 1498. Tobago changed hands between the British, French, Dutch and Courlanders, but eventually ended up in British hands. Trinidad remained in Spanish hands until 1797, but it was largely settled by French colonists. In 1888 the two islands were incorporated into a single crown colony. Trinidad and Tobago obtained its independence from the British Empire in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.

Contents

History of Trinidad and Tobago

Prehistory

Human settlement in Trinidad and Tobago dates back at least 7,000 years. The earliest settlers, termed Archaic or Ortoiroid, are believed to have settled Trinidad and Tobago from northeastern South America around 5000 BC. Twenty-nine Archaic sites have been identified, mostly in south Trinidad and Tobago; this includes the 7,000-year-old Banwari Trace site which is the oldest discovered human settlement in the eastern Caribbean. Archaic populations were pre-ceramic, and dominated the area until about 200 BC.[1]

Around 250 BC the first ceramic-using people in the Caribbean, the Saladoid people, entered Trinidad and Tobago. Earliest evidence of these people come from around 2100 BC along the banks of the Orinoco River in Venezuela. From Trinidad and Tobago, they are believed to have moved north into the remaining islands of the Caribbean. Thirty-seven Saladoid sites have been identified in Trinidad and Tobago, and are located all over the island.[1]

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