About the project

The St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeological Initiative

The projects aims

The St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative is an innovative collaborative project designed to further scholarship on slavery. The initiative has developed an integrated digital archive of archaeological and historical data related to the experiences of the enslaved men and women who laboured on 17th, 18th and 19th century sugar plantations in the Caribbean.

Anyone with an interest in the subject can access the digital archive created as a result of this project for free here on the International Slavery Museum website or via DAACS website|. We hope that this will be a valuable resource for archaeologists, historians, other scholars, school children, teachers, and the public.

An international team of scholars from The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery| at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, the University of Southampton's Nevis Heritage Project|, and the International Slavery Museum| in Liverpool have created this resource with information from two 18th century plantations and their slave villages, two located on Nevis and another on St Kitts. The result is a first-of-its-kind digital collection of fully searchable archaeological and historical data from multiple slave village sites in the Caribbean.

Both UK and US principal investigators have long term research commitments to the archaeological and historical study of the slave societies that evolved in the Caribbean and mainland US. Each team member's experience and institutional backing will ensure that the St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative is the foundation for a larger, long-term digitisation effort focused on the experience of enslaved people in the Caribbean.

The UK principal investigators have years of experience in UK and Caribbean archives, while US team members are experts at organizing and delivering data using XML-based schemas and detailed relational databases. Together, the teams have created a robust digital archive of archaeological and historical data through use of rigorous and well-defined cataloguing standards and metadata, insuring interoperability and analytical comparability.

DAACS archaeological analysts have catalogued all of the archaeological materials to DAACS standards|. Ceramicists from the University of Southampton and University of Tennessee have analysed and digitised all slave-made coarse earthenwares ceramics. All recovered faunal remains have been identified and catalogued at Colonial Williamsburg's Zooarchaeological Laboratory, and digitised by DAACS staff. The rich documentary record of these plantations has been digitised in archives in the UK and on Nevis and St Kitts. Both archaeological and documentary data will be delivered to the public through easy-to-use query interfaces that are linked to robust XML and SQL databases.

Project sponsors

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.

Further information is on the NEH website|

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
JISC is funded by the UK higher education and further education funding bodies to provide leadership in the innovative use of ICT to support education and research.

Further information is on the JISC website|

The Reed Foundation, Inc
The Reed Foundation, Inc provided funding for University of West Indies interns in historical archaeology.

The collaborating institutions

  • The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery and Monticello, USA
  • University of Southampton, UK
  • National Museums Liverpool, UK
NEH principal investigators
  • Dr Jillian Galle, Project Manager, The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery, Department of Archaeology, Monticello, VA
  • Dr Fraser D Neiman, Director of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Monticello, VA
JISC principal investigators
  • Dr Roger H Leech, Visiting Professor, University of Southampton
  • Dr Robert A Philpott, Head of Archaeology, National Museums Liverpool

The project team

DAACS staff
  • Dr Carter Hudgins, Director Clemson/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Lynsey Bates (DAACS Archaeological Analyst/Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Leslie Cooper (DAACS Archaeological Analyst)
  • Karen Hutchins (DAACS Archaeological Analyst/Graduate Student, Boston University)
  • Jesse Sawyer (DAACS Archaeological Analyst)
  • Derek Wheeler (Research Archaeologist, Monticello)
Documentary research and mark-up
  • Mrs Pamela Leech
University of Southampton undergraduates
  • Charlotte Heard
  • Alice Careless
  • Emily Dickens
  • Ben Heaney
  • Katy Hedley
  • Rebecca Kettle
  • Joshua Le Cheminant
  • Anna McGrail
  • Kathryn Temple
University of the West Indies, Mona. DAACS interns in historical archaeology
  • Krystle Edwards
  • Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown
  • Dr Ivor Conolley
  • Clive Grey
  • Khadene Harris
  • Kenesha King
Consultants
  • Dr Joanne Bowen, Director, The Colonial Williamsburg's Zooarchaeological Laboratory
  • Dr Barbara Heath, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
  • Dr Elaine Morris, Senior Research Fellow, University of Southampton
  • Category 4, Inc, Charlottesville VA 
  • Dr Dean Abernathy, Former Associate Director, The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia
  • Dr Richard Benjamin, Head, International Slavery Museum
  • Web team, National Museums Liverpool
  • Ms Susan Perdue, Associate Editor, Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, at Monticello
  • Mr Stephen Perkins, Data Format, Pubman support
Acknowledgements
  • Mr John Guilbert, Director of Nevis Conservation and Historical Society, Charlestown, Nevis
  • Mr Randolph Edmead, Director, Department of Physical Planning and Environment, St Kitts, for permission to excavate at The Spring, St Kitts
  • Ms Grace Challenger-Bird, Executive Director, St Christopher Historical Society
  • Ms Jacqueline Armony, President of the St. Christopher Heritage Society
  • Mr Alastair Dunning, JISC Digitisation Programme Manager, JISC
  • Dr Charles Kolb, Senior Program Officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Museums Liverpool staff - Dr Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum, and the web team
  • Splinter Design Communications (Liverpool, England) for web design
  • Suffolk Record Office
  • Southampton Archives
  • Mr Deon Daniel, Nevis, for permission to excavate at Jessup's
  • Department of Agriculture, Nevis, for permission to excavate at New River
Authors
  • Dr Jillian Galle, Project Manager, The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery, Department of Archaeology, Monticello.
  • Dr Fraser D Neiman, Director of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Monticello, VA
  • Dr Roger H Leech, Visiting Professor, University of Southampton
  • Dr Robert A Philpott, Head of Archaeology, National Museums Liverpool
Copyright
The material used on this website is intended for private study, research and teaching. All images, videos and text may be subject to copyright under UK or US law. A statement of National Museums Liverpool's policy on copyright can be found on the Copyright page| of the website. 

Please contact Dr Robert Philpott at National Museums Liverpool| for further information on copyright holders and permission to use images, video or text.