Archaeological field methods

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DAACS and UWI crew excavate STPs on six metre centres at New River I, Nevis

Addressing these questions requires archaeological data that capture variation at multiple spatial scales, within slave villages, among estates, and among islands. It also requires stringent data collection methods in both the field and the laboratory. In order to document and analyse the spatial structure of entire slave settlements, team members had to abandon archaeological field methods that have prevailed in the Caribbean for decades: the intensive excavation of individual houses within villages that contain scores of them (e.g. Armstrong 1991; Higman 1998; Wilke and Farnsworth 2005). Our research archaeologists implemented a shovel-test-pit strategy specifically designed to provide the fine-grained spatial and artefact data needed to understand how slavery at these villages changed over time and space.

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