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It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden and York Islands and further south, the island of Redonda).
The Spaniards did not colonise Antigua because it lacked fresh water but not aggressive Caribs.
The English settled on Antigua in 1632; Christopher Codrington settled on Barbuda in 1684.
Carbon dating has established the earliest settlements started around 3100 BC.
They were succeeded by the ceramic age pre-Columbian Arawak-speaking Saladoid people who migrated from the lower Orinoco River.
European and African diseases, malnutrition, and slavery eventually killed most of the Caribbean's native population. believe that the psychological stress of slavery may also have played a part in the massive number of deaths amongst enslaved natives.
Others believe the reportedly abundant but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to their severe malnutrition as they were used to a diet fortified with protein from the sea.
The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda.
Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister.
Most Arawaks left Antigua around 1100 AD; those who remained were later raided by the Caribs.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Caribs' superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most of the West Indian Arawak nations, enslaving some and possibly cannibalising others.
The Arawaks introduced agriculture, raising, among other crops, the famous Antigua black pineapple (Moris cultivar of Ananas comosus), corn, sweet potatoes, chiles, guava, tobacco, and cotton.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating