Day 3 of Archaeology Days in St. Croix the campers experienced a pedestrian survey within the Little Princess Estate, a sugar plantation established on the island in 1749. The estate has a suite of historic structures still standing and a special trail cut through to pass the original village for enslaved people. The students observed the ruins of one of the former dwelling spaces for enslaved families, surface finds, changes in vegetation, debris from recent hurricane destruction, and many other unique challenges facing this historic site.
Day 4 of Archaeology Days in St. Croix the campers experienced their very own mock archaeological excavation. They took turns digging and sifting for artifacts taking note of a distinction in the layers of sediment with historic and Pre-Columbian artifacts. They found it hard to stay in their teams as soon as artifacts started to be uncovered, then everyone wanted to jump in the pool and dig up whatever they could find. I assured them that archaeology is not a treasure hunt but more like a a game of clue. If you run into the house and take out what could be the murder weapon and run out you will never know who committed the crime or why. Archaeology works the same way, if you run into a site dig up whatever you can find and take it with you, then everyone has lost the chance to learn more about that artifact, where it came from, who made it, and why. I couldn’t be happier to see this level of excitement for archaeology among this diverse group of young students and I hope this is only the start of amazing opportunities for them. We will see what the future holds after this summer camp experience is over.