Nevis Conservation Society Exposes Students To Archaeology

CHARLESTOWN (October 10, 2006)
Staff of the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) and students of the Bellevue International Primary and the Charlestown Secondary Schools had the opportunity to learn more about the preservation of Nevis’ history and careers available in the area of archaeology and curation, through a workshop on artefacts collection and processing.
The workshop organised by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society with the support of the Nevis Island Administration and the Florida Association for Volunteers in the Caribbean (FAVCA), was held at the Nelson Museum at Bath Plain on Tuesday. According to Mr John Guilbert Executive Director of the NHCS, the workshop stemmed from the need to train the Society’s staff in areas of archaeology and curation and to spark student’s interest in those areas. The workshop, he explained, was facilitated by Mrs Kelly Scudder President Organisation of Culture Resource Solutions based in the USA.
“We will give them a demonstration as to what this archaeological work is all about, the tools and the whys and therefores of what this work is and what it means to Nevis and that’s the important thing. It is work that should remain here in Nevis, not leave Nevis. It is for the people of Nevis and we are just the caretakers of it,” he said.
Meantime, Mrs Scudder said she was hopeful that the workshop would spark interest in the students which would impact on their future careers and noted some of the topics the students would be expose to.
“Today we are going to show the students what archaeologists do, show them how we collect the data and they are going to be looking for artefacts which we have planted out here. Then we are going to show them how we clean and process and talk to them about curation and how we go further into the community. We are going to explain about stabilising sites and protecting sites and we are going to talk to them a lot about various jobs that are available in that area and hopefully spark some interest for future conservatives,” she said.
Ms Scudder was of the view that the heritage and resources of Nevis belonged to Nevis and not in museums overseas and as such, jobs in archaeology and curation should be available in Nevis as well.
She said her organisation was in the process of working toward eventually putting together a training centre somewhere in the Caribbean so that various persons could send personnel from historical societies and national trusts to train people to work as archaeological technicians, curators.
“We have done heritage training on how to conduct tours, all of those things so they can be done in-house and the revenue for these projects can come from and stay with in country instead of bringing in people like me which is what ends up happening in most cases,” she said.
The Organisation of Culture Resource Solutions has done archaeological and related work in many other Caribbean islands including salvage work and sight conservation. For each paid contract that it engages in it undertakes to do a volunteer project at its expense whether it is in that country or another country. They have been on Nevis for the past three weeks and have conducted volunteer work at the Nelson Museum and the Fothergills Nevisian Village. Mrs Scudder and her team leave Nevis at the end of the week.

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