[UPDATE: THE VIDEO OF THIS PRESENTATION IS NOW ONLINE AND INCLUDED BELOW. ENJOY!]
CHRISTIANSTED – On Thursday, May 12, 2016, David Hayes, a long-time VI Archaeologist, will precede his lecture on How St. Croix Fits into the Archaeological Work Across the Caribbean with a short USVI/DPNR and State Office of Historic Preservation video on the recent Charlotte Amalie Excavation. More than 2,000 years ago there was likely a thriving Taino community in the heart of Charlotte Amalie. In 2013 contractors began turning up shards of pottery and other artifacts during otherwise routine roadwork on Main Street near Market Square. Work was temporarily halted and archeologists were called in to help dig up what was described as a “major” find. Thousands of artifacts were eventually discovered in a relatively small area.
“St. Croix archaeology has been understudied in the last 40 years. A few sites are now getting the attention they deserve, like Aklis, but many of the more than 70 pre-Columbian sites and more than 200 Colonial sites are barely known. I have found cemeteries under open fields and traces of the railways for the cane just ahead of the bulldozers. By looking at and studying the artifacts we can see the traces of past cultures and the mingling of those cultures to form the Caribbean world. Trading around the Caribbean Sea has been on going for more than 2000 years and people from many places have moved, mingled, and created artifacts and I will have some to look at.”
David Hayes was born on St. Croix and explored the island and shared wide-ranging interests in history, botany, and geology with his parents. After attending stateside schools, he returned to work the family business, selling Cruzan Motors in 1986 and beginning to buy and rehabilitate buildings. He and his father bought Christiansted Apothecary Hall in 1984. In 2000, he earned his MS in Industrial Archaeology and is now one of the few archaeologists licenced to work in the VI under the VI Antiquities Law of 1998. He has worked with the Museums Association of the Caribbean and regularly attends meetings of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, the Society for Historic Archaeology, the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, and this year the Society for American Archaeology.
The lecture will be held from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Danish Guinea West India Company Warehouse/ Slave Market Building. The Christiansted National Historic Site parking lot will be ‘free’ and open for this event until 7PM.
Please note that a meeting of ‘The Friends of the National Parks of St. Croix’ will meet from 4:30-5:30 PM just before the lecture in the same location.