Over the past few months we have been excavating on a very special site--a possible Free Black Village. Very few free black (the general term used for freed slaves) settlements have ever been excavated in the Caribbean. Our excavations are aimed at elucidating the layout of the village and determining what sort of food and architecture utilised in this area. We will be finishing this site in early 2010 and will be moving on to a site possibly related to our syangogue's cantor-- an outstanding domestic residence in the center of Oranjestad directly across the street from Synagogue Honen Dalim. Artifacts include a wide range of post-medieval Atlantic trade items, including wine and gin bottles, European ceramics, Chinese handpainted porcelain, beads, coins, cannonballs and bone toothbrushes. During the hurricane season (from September through December) we catalogue artefacts and write our excavation reports. Please see our FaceBook Group
for additional photos and information.
From January until August 2010 we have fieldwork Excavation Experiences. . Other potential sites that we may be excavating in 2010 include Fort Amsterdam on Oranje Bay. This was the slave trading depot where thousands of slaves were bought and sold. Other potential sites of interest are the Pleasures Estate, which was a sugar plantation and rum distillery complex. The final possibility is an 18th century domestic residence overlooking Oranje Bay that was abandoned in the early 19th century. Our schedule includes excavation in the morning, Monday to Friday with afternoons for artefact processing. We provide opportunities to learn all dimensions of excavation and post-excavation. From using a trowel to surveying, fieldwalking, archaeological photography, drawing site plans and profiles, artefact cleaning and conservation.