About Us

The St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research (SECAR) foundation was established in 2004 to provide a permanent archaeological presence on St. Eustatius with the goal of protecting and developing the historical resources located on the island in full cooperation with local residents. This is achieved through the combined efforts of both staff and volunteers. The organization consists of two archaeologists and a board of six members. Our main office is located on Road to English Quarter. Here, we are able to house students and volunteers for our field schools, process finds, store equipment, and write our reports. Anyone who is interested in the archaeology and in the history of the Caribbean’s ‘Historic Gem’ can visit us; we are always happy to introduce people to the fascinating past of our beautiful island.

 

Our Goals:

  1. To educate the local, national and international public regarding the prehistoric and historic archaeological history of St. Eustatius and the Caribbean;
  2. To develop innovative technologies and methods to improve underwater and terrestrial archaeological site recording and identification, and artifact recording and identification;
  3. To protect underwater and terrestrial cultural heritage resources;
  4. To enhance the interpretation of underwater and terrestrial cultural heritage resources;
  5. To assist local, national and international governments as well as non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the public in obtaining underwater and terrestrial cultural heritage resource protection goals;
  6. To assist local, national and international governments as well as non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the public in developing underwater and terrestrial cultural heritage tourism goals;
  7. To assist local, national and international governments as well as non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the public in fulfilling local, national and international legislation and treaty obligations regarding cultural heritage resources wherever they may be found.

The Team

Fred van Keulen, MA
Archaeologist, SECAR
PADI Rescue Diver
Email: info@secar.org
Phone: +599 319 1631

Fred earned a BA and MA in Caribbean archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University in 2016 and 2018. For his Bachelor’s degree he investigated shell material of a prehistoric site in the Dominican Republic. During his Master’s his focus was on the historical water management of St. Eustatius. Before becoming the acting archaeologist on St. Eustatius, he has been part of excavations in the Netherlands, The Dominican Republic and Saba. As the acting archaeologist he has already performed several surveys and worked on excavations on St. Eustatius, both terrestrial and marine.

Research interests: historical water management, prehistoric archaeology, historical archaeology, maritime archaeology, cultural heritage management

Ruud Stelten, MA
Archaeologist, SECAR
Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University
PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor # 301985
Email: ruudstelten@gmail.com
Phone: +31 642311256

Ruud earned a BA and MA in Caribbean archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University in 2009 and 2010, focusing on maritime archaeology on St. Eustatius. Before moving permanently to Statia in 2011, he worked on many archaeological projects in the Netherlands, Greece, and Mauritius. He was SECAR’s managing archaeologist from 2011 to 2013, when he managed the organisation and worked on many excavations and surveys, including historic sugar plantations, slave village sites, and the historic port district. He also took part in the recreation of an eighteenth-century blacksmith shop and slave hut, and he created an archaeological predictive model for St. Eustatius. In 2013, Ruud stepped down as managing archaeologist to focus fully on his Ph.D. research project “Shipwrecks of St. Eustatius.”

Research interests: maritime archaeology, plantation and slave site archaeology, metal artifacts