Monday, 3 February 2014

Field Research Opportunity: Fort Charles Archaeological Project in the West Indies

Join Monmouth University's Annual Archaeological Field School in the Caribbean!
This year's field school will expand on last year's work. This includes additional excavations at the guardhouse and along the fort's northern walls as well as test units to locate additional subsurface features. Our documentation of the site's ruins will assist in the planning of conservation efforts. Limited shovel testing and full-scale excavations of various contexts will support new interpretations of those living and working at Fort Charles during the site's occupation.
Settled in the late 1620s, Nevis is home to some of the earliest British settlements and fortifications in the Caribbean. This year's field work will continue to investigate Fort Charles, the best preserved fort in Nevis. The fort was constructed in the early 1600s and is half a mile from Charlestown, the capital of Nevis. The fort remained in use until the 1890s when the site was used as a customs fort. This year's field school represents the second year of archaeological investigations at this intriguing site and its 250-year history. Our work this summer will build on last year's work exploring the colonial history of the Eastern Caribbean, particularly as it relates to issues of trade and exchange.

Students will learn traditional and advanced surveying methods, how to conduct pedestrian surveys, standard archaeological excavation techniques, and how to identify, catalogue, and analyze artifacts. There will be weekly lectures on Nevisian archaeology, history, and culture by project staff and visiting experts.

Housing is dormitory style with separate facilities for male and female crew. Meals are prepared by staff and students seven days a week. Laundry facilities are available onsite. The director will have a mobile phone for emergencies and high-speed wireless internet is availalbe at our lodgings. Language on Nevis is English and the currency in use is the Eastern Caribbean dollar ($2.70EC = $1US). Water is safe from the tap and there are no poisonous spiders or snakes on the island.

Anticipated cost for three hours of undergraduate credit (AN 390: Field Methods in Archaeology) is $3200 plus airfare. Anticipated cost for three hours of graduate credit (AN 520: Field Methods in Archaeology) is $3800 plus airfare. These amounts include $1000 which covers all student expenses while in Nevis. Round-trip airfare from NYC area costs approximately $600. Students will arrive on island May 24 and depart June 14. Students requiring additional hours should contact the director. Registration for these courses is by instructor approval.

Students will work 5 1/2 days per week; 8:00am-2:30pm M-F at Fort Charles and 8am-Noon Saturdays at the Hill Top Guest House analyzing artifacts.

Preference will be given to Monmouth University students. No previous experience required. We are guests on Nevis and students will be expected to behave accordingly.

Contact Dr. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant for more information. Students seeking a place in the field school will need to submit an application and $200 nonrefundable deposit by March 28, 2014.

Download application materials >

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