Videos of the slave village at Jessups

Introduction to the slave village at Jessups

In this video Fraser Neiman introduces the 18th century slave village at Jessups, Nevis to the University of Southampton students.

Fraser Neiman: This may be kind of the last chance to look at this - the little part of this that's left before it gets developed into house sites. So as you see we came in on a little relatively cleared area there where those ferns are. That is the remaining little bit of a little curving track that we believe appears amazingly enough on this 18th-century plat [map] so that has remained a kind of travel path used pretty much up to the present. So we have used that - Derek and I have put in a couple of re-bars, GPS'd them just like at New River, got them on the UTM [Universal Transverse Mercator] North Zone 20 grid system and then shot a bunch of points coming in here so our transect is going east-west. This site, or this village site, like the old New River site, is also terraced, presumably after the village is abandoned, as it's put into agricultural production. So that's another kind of cool parallel. So, you know, we get very excited when we see these patterns occurring at different sites and we can see that something cool is happening perhaps.

And it's our job to come up with a killer, and correct, explanation for it!

The archaeological work at the village

In this video Fraser Neiman talks about the archaeological work carried out at this site.

Fraser Neiman: This is the early 19th century slave village, roughly, again it's underneath this road, part of its has been destroyed by the house behind us, and there's obviously been some development over there that has taken out some of it.

This part, this would be the eastern end of it and here it's pretty much intact and this edge, the southern edge of it, between the road here and the ghut we've just walked across, is pretty much intact.

So two years ago Jillian and me and Anna Agbe-Davies, who teaches at DePaul in Chicago, put in a transect of STPs (shovel test-pits) and we recovered nicely tightly date early 19th century ceramics with just a boatload of Afro-Caribbean ware as well.

And actually we think... there may well be a house that we located where there's been tons of stuff and there are indications of a little platform back in the woods here that we can take a look at at a later date.

The final feature of interest here is just in here, there's what seems to be the remains of a grave with a local stone - headstone - with a cross, carved in it. We're not quite sure what to make of that but presumably it's the grave of some enslaved person who lived here in the early 19th century.