IT’S time to stop paying lip service to First Nation people and move to protect this country’s history, heritage consultant Dr Kris Rampersad has said in the wake of the discovery of a set of bones beneath the Red House in Port of Spain.
Two weeks ago, skeletal remains were found beneath the Parliament Building. The remains were accompanied by artefacts, such as pottery pieces, typical of the indigenous peoples.
In her Internet blog, Demokrissy, Rampersad referred to the need for a comprehensive archeological survey of Trinidad and Tobago.
“This also has value to the region and the world,” said Rampersad, who has been conducting training across the Caribbean in available mechanisms for safeguarding its heritage.
“We have for too long paid only lip service to our multiculturalism.
“The find under the Red House of bones potentially dating to the beginning of this epoch points to the significant need for a proper survey and actions to secure and protect zones that are of significant historical and prehistoric importance.”
Commenting on another famed--but neglected--historical site, Rampersad noted the neglect of the Banwari site in San Francique, south Trinidad.
The Banwari Site was the home of the Banwari man, a 7,000-year-old inhabitant and one of the most significant and well-known archeological treasures of the region.
Discovered some 40 years ago, little has been done to preserve and promote the site.
At a recent workshop, the potential of T&T’s heritage assets as UNESCO World Heritage sites were discussed, Rampersad said.
However, there was concern among Caribbean colleagues that this country was yet to move to effecting the research, legislation and other actions necessary to pin the sites as being of value.
Rampersad said Trinidad’s entire south-west peninsula was a key entry point in the migration of prehistoric peoples.
“So much of the history of the region is still unknown and so much of the accepted theories are being challenged,” Rampersad said.