Artifact conservation

Besides archaeological fieldwork, SECAR also stores and takes care of a large collection of excavated artifacts. We have a dedicated storage facility generously provided by NuStar Energy. Here, over 300 crates of artifacts are stored.

Artifacts stored at SECAR date back as far as the early 1980s, when archaeologists from the College of William & Mary were excavating on the island. Many of these artifacts were stored in wooden boxes and paper bags, which are now being eaten away by termites. In 2012, SECAR started a large project whereby our entire collection is rebagged and retagged. Furthermore, all artifacts under our curation are being entered into a new database, which will make it easier for future researchers to browse our collection and search for specific artifacts from specific projects. Special finds are taken out of the boxes and prepared for display and study.

Our collection houses many artifacts of exceptional beauty and historical value, and it is through this project that we're rediscovering many of these. For example, we have a large collection of metal artifacts from underwater contexts, a beautiful collection of decorated clay tobacco pipes, and an extensive collection of glass beads, including the famous Statia Blue Beads. Artifacts of exceptional value are stored in a safety deposit box, and are occasionally presented to the general public. Many artifacts are also on display at the SECAR building, where students and visitors can enjoy one of the finest collections of  historical objects in the Caribbean.

We are accepting interns to work on our collections. Do you have experience in artifact conservation and would like to spend a few months in the Caribbean? Then click here to find out how to apply.

Internships are for a minimum period of 3 months. This is also the maximum amount of time that non-Dutch nationals can stay on the island. Dutch nationals can stay for up to 6 months. Internships are unpaid, but include free accommodation at our headquarters and the use of all our facilities. Click here and go to the bottom of the page to see what our previous interns were up to.