Archaeological investigations at the Jessups villages
Section of the 1755 plat of the Jessups estate showing the early slave village on the right and the later village pencilled in to the left of the ghut
The Jessups estate is located on the leeward coast, the opposite side of Nevis from New River. The location of its 18th-century slave village is documented on an 18th-century estate plat, which shows the village adjacent to the great house and mill complex. Pencilled addenda on the plat suggest the location of a later settlement, further away from the great house, on the opposite side of a deep ghut.
Preliminary STP survey in 2006 confirmed the location of both Jessups I and Jessups II villages. Unfortunately less than half of Jessups I, the early village site, has survived recent road construction in the vicinity, and approximately one-third of Jessups II was impacted by development in the early 2000s.
Southampton and DAACS archaeologists excavating shovel-test-pits at Jessups II
Nevertheless, 203 STPs were excavated at Jessups I, covering roughly a third of the original village site. One 1 x 1 metre unit was also excavated over a STP that appeared to contain a plaster floor.
Map of Jessups I and II showing location of shovel-test-pits, extant architecture, and areas disturbed by recent construction
Ninety-three STPs were excavated at Jessups II, enough to verify that the pencilled addenda really do represent later slave housing. However, complete survey of the later village site awaits additional funding.