Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hassel Island Day Trips

As of right now, a project is taking place on Hassel Island, just off of the island of St Thomas. The small island has had many uses over the years and numerous structures and features remain visible today. Currently the interns are partaking in recording officer barracks, long houses and other structures located there. This involves taking measurements of the in situ structures and noting any artifacts located on the surrounding surface. These structures in particular, all that is left at the surface are parts of the side walls and staircase. The dimensions are taken and recorded; orientation of the building is noted and any other important details that might reveal pertinent information to the location.

A group of volunteers, including Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Chabot, National Park employees, Thomas Kelley, Ken Wild, Lauran Riser and interns Marlise Reed and Karson Winslow rounded out the team of jungle cutters going to clear paths to the archaeological sites in question. With machetes and loppers in hand a trail was blazed through the lethal Christmas Bush, Cacti and other thorny flora. Did I mention that the sites were also located on the top of the hill? We really appreciate the great help of the volunteers who came out with smiles and packed lunches to spend the beautiful day clearing bush for the archaeology to happen.

We had some time to record a Leprosarium with a cistern attached.




The majority of the day was used clearing bush, which gave little time for recording. We plan to return to the site for more recording in the future.

The next visit was done in conjunction with a day trip kayaking company ran out of St Thomas bringing a group of roughly 20 visitors. Ken Wild conducted a great four hour tour of the island starting at Creque Marine Slipway, the oldest and largest known steam powered marine railway of its time. It was built by the Danish in 1840 and many of the parts are located on site today.
This day didn’t involve fieldwork by the archeologists, but functioned as great tool to learn more about the history of the area.

The last trip out to Hassel, we met up with a group of Army National Guard men and women, who are based in St. Croix; all having served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Ken gave them a tour while Karson and Matt recorded historic slipway features. These features were recorded in part to historically recreate the slipway authentically. Thank you very much to the St. Croix group for a great day!!

2 comments:

Rob and Mandy said...

Greetings from the Island, enjoyed your blog, Regards

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