Location: St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
St. Eustatius, a small is island in the Dutch West Indies, was one of the busiest ports in the eighteenth century, where thousands of ships came to trade each year. Little development over the years has ensured the survival of hundreds of archaeological sites on the Island, many of which are in pristine condition and include prehistoric settlements and shell middens, plantations, religious buildings, military installations, and the historic port district which houses hundreds of warehouses, brothels, taverns and merchant houses. St. Eustatius is believed to have the densest concentration of colonial period artifacts of any area in the Americas. Besides hundreds of archaeological sites on land, the waters surrounding the island are home to an estimated 200 shipwrecks. Our 2014 field school wil focus on the most well-preserved and beautiful sugar plantation on the island, Fair Play plantation. This year, we will conduct excavations in and around the Great House and boiling house, in order to get a better understanding of their phases of construction and extent, and to explore the living conditions of the plantation owners. In addition, the entire plantation complex will be mapped, which includes several more buildings and the only windmill on the island. Test excavations to determine the location and size of the slave quarters may also be carried out this season.
Period(s) of Occupation: 17th - 19th centuries
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week
Room and Board Arrangements
The SECAR headquarters is a large building located in a quiet neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Oranjestad and at the foot of the Quill volcano. A walk to the center of town takes about 15 minutes. Our building was designed in feet, but built in meters using the same numbers, so it is incredibly large! We can provide accommodation to 18 people in two spacious dorms. Each dorm has an attached bathroom. Our building has a fully-equipped kitchen, three sitting areas, a lab area, an office, a large porch and yard with various tropical fruit trees, and plenty of storage space. It is also equipped with a washing machine, cable TV, Wifi throughout the building, and a library. From the porch you can enjoy beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and neighbouring island St. Maarten.