Friday, January 09, 2009

Hello everyone!

Hello everyone! This is Jennifer and Katie, the newest interns here at Cinnamon Bay for the National Park Service. We’re both from the Midwest (Iowa and Missouri respectively) and are just grateful for this amazing opportunity to get away from the ice and snow for awhile! We’ve been here for about 3 weeks and we’re already learning so much about the history of St. John and life on the island. The people here have been incredibly accommodating and have all done so much for us during the process of settling into our new home. Working at the archaeology lab/interpretive center at Cinnamon Bay has helped us to really understand more about the variety of people and cultures before us who have called this island home.
Most of the work has involved analyzing artifacts at the Cinnamon Bay lab, recovered from various historic colonial sites around St. John, and informing the visitors to the area about the island's history. We’ve enjoyed meeting everyone that has come to visit us at the lab. A few days ago, we were thrilled to have our first lesson using GPS equipment to record the locations of multiple artifacts at a particular site. We were conducting a ground survey to look for sites on a newly acquired area for the National Park Service and found some interesting archaic artifacts. Jen found her first flake!

Before and AFter images of the RMSPC Clean Up

Last week we had the opportunity to tour the archaeological sites of Hassel Island and witness the clean-up of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Just recently we’ve been learning about the NPS’s artifact cataloguing system and all the work that goes into recording a site. While in the lab a few days ago, we put together a wonderful display of the different types of historic ceramics that are found on the island. This display will be used as a demonstration piece for talks given about the historic occupation of St. John.

So much has happened within the last week that we’re sure to be busy for awhile! In fact, today we were able to help move a swivel cannon to the archaeological lab at Cinnamon Bay. There it will begin the restoration process that we will conduct and monitor for the next few months. This is an extremly exciting opportunity for us and we’ll keep you posted on how things are going!

Jen and Katie