Friday, October 13, 2006
Hello everyone! My name is Amber Davis and I am the VINP Cultural Resource Team’s newest intern. I moved down here from New Hampshire and just recently received a B.A. in Chemistry from Bowdoin College with a minor in Anthropology. Naturally, I am interested in archaeochemistry, or chemistry as it is applied to archaeology, and it sounds like I will be able to help with a lot of projects here. From soil testing to the identification of pottery residues, I only hope that our efforts here can contribute additional knowledge about the pre-Columbian residents of St. John. Speaking of, I have been reading a lot about the Taino—the Caribbean natives who greeted Columbus—and what I have read has been fascinating. Did you know that bats symbolized their dead ancestors’ spirits and that the English words “hammock,” “canoe,” “tobacco,” and “barbecue” originate from the Taino language? Sweet.
In the past two weeks (of which I am here only on Thursdays and Fridays), the team has been exploring a new shipwreck (the anchor is pictured in a previous blog). Historic bottles from ~1850’s were found and a few metal objects were detected, but not excavated. These objects are teasers, however, because we still have yet to determine why the ship wrecked. Many projects are planned for this year and I look forward to sharing the results with you as the work progresses down here on St. John. Until next week:)
Unidentified Metal Artifact among Shipwreck Scatter