Architectural artefacts

old overgrown section of wall

Architectural artefacts comprised around 10% of the artefact assemblages from each village. Artefacts included brick and mortar fragments as well as hand-wrought iron nails. Window glass was found at each village. However the quantities were so low that it is highly unlikely any slave dwellings had glass windows. Although slate was present in low quantities at the sites, no fragments of architectural slate were clearly identified.

Despite the presence of artefact types related to architecture, it is difficult to determine archaeologically the construction methods used to build houses for enslaved labourers on Nevis and St Kitts. This is in large part a result of what archaeologists call post-depositional processes: the effect that activities have on an archaeological site after the artefacts have been deposited. These activities include both natural and man-made processes. 

In the case of the New River and Jessups sites, the abandoned villages were terraced and used for agricultural activities after people stopped living in them. The village at The Spring was subjected to severe erosion over time. Any evidence for foundations or house platforms at all three villages was eliminated as a result of these post-depositional influences.