(ZIZ News/Press Release) — Volunteers led by Industrial Archaeologist, David Rollinson got the opportunity to participate in the first Public Archaeology Dig this week at The New River estate in Gingerland, Nevis.
ZIZ was on site for the historic digging process where volunteers were seen participating in Excavating Methods, Site Recording and Artefact Conservation.
John Covey, a volunteer from Washington State, said it was necessary to travel to the island in person to gain a better experience.
“When I first found out that we were coming down here to work, I actually went online to find out some information about it. The information I was finding was fairly old. It doesn’t show it as it is now other than the beautiful drone video showing this place and that’s what mainly helped me figure out the area we were going to be working at down here. David sent us some maps saying here’s the area but until I could see pictures of it, it was hard to find”, he said.
Covey said he became fascinated with the history taught at the site, noting that he also gained a better understanding of the sugar manufacturing process.
“For me, I never really learned much about the sugar process and how it works and now I’ve seen it working. I’ve seen how they use it, crushing it with water, steam and learning of the fact that they did it here using animals to operate the crushers and then figuring out how the coppers worked. The whole process is just interesting. What all the people had to go through to make this stuff, that’s just amazing”, Covey expressed.
The sunny conditions didn’t slow down the volunteers. Many were seen digging wearing hats, sunglasses and protective gear.
According to the Nevis Island Administration and The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, the estate will become a live-in museum in which visitors will be given an opportunity to see what took place on the estate many years ago.
Any artefacts recovered at the site will become the property of The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society to be used in historic displays at the soon to be opened, New River Visitors’ Centre.