Hombre de Puerto Ferro Archaeological Site

Archaeological Site in Vieques

Big boulders identify the grave from which a 4000-year-old skeleton of a pre-Arawak known as the ‘Hombre de Puerto Ferro’ was exhumed. Little is known about the skeleton, but archaeologists speculate that it is most likely the body of one of Los Arcaicos (the Archaics), Puerto Rico’s earliest known inhabitants; this racial group made a sustained migration as well as seasonal pilgrimages to the Caribbean from bases in Florida. The remains are now on exhibit at the Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte in San Juan.

Until the discovery of the Hombre de Puerto Ferro, many archaeologists imagined that the Arcaicos had reached Puerto Rico sometime shortly after the birth of Christ; the presence of the remains on Vieques could push that date back nearly two millennia if controversy surrounding the skeleton is resolved. Visitors can stop by the excavation site where having a healthy imagination will add interest to the boulders.

The site is marked by a small sign on Hwy 997, east of Esperanza. About a half mile east of the entrance to Sun Bay, take the dirt road headed north (inland). Drive for about two minutes on a rutted dirt road until you find the burial site.

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