Video: Fraser Neiman

In this video Fraser Neiman at New River, Nevis introduces the slave village site to University of Southampton students.


Fraser Neiman: Our first area of interest is this whole 11 thing which we think runs from the road this way on up to where the fence stops and it cuts across. So we've been excavating shovel test-pits on six-metre centres throughout this entire area. So far we've done about 250 of them.

And if you walk into the bush here at ten [on map] you'll see that the ground is littered with early 19th century artefacts. There's an extant cistern there and a stone foundation that Rob and I looked at this morning and we strongly suspect that that is the site of the successor settlement to this one. This one, based on the artefact dating, seems to have been abandoned in the late 18th century and then these folks were moved over here. Now, this raises the interesting question, and we going to try to investigate this, the current slave village is terraced - it's got flat areas and then a whole row of rocks, and then flat areas and then on up - and one interesting question is, does the terracing pre-date or post-date the village settlement? The fact that there is much less terracing over on the other site may be an indication that this terracing is... one reason that the village moved from here is that this is too valuable agricultural land and it was put into sugar cultivation and then terraced afterwards. But that's at the moment a hypothesis that we're working on.