St. Vincent Burials

The excavation team hard at work. While this is tedious work, it is a joy to help reconstruct past life-ways!
Map of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The year was 2011 and I was busy finishing my masters degree in Maya archaeology but I knew I needed more excavation experience. Margarita from Circle CRM Group Inc. emailed an advertisement for volunteer archaeology in the Caribbean. What a chance for an experience! I joined her team on the island of St. Vincent to carry out rescue excavations of a known ancient burial site (circa CE 300) before a new airport runway was installed over the burial ground. This experience was life changing. We took great care to be respectful of the human remains and thoroughly recorded every detail as human and cultural remains were recovered. The picture below exemplifies one of the many burials. This one was a double burial. One person was disarticulated (separated into body parts) and placed on top of another person with saladoid ceramic vessels in the internment. The ceramic vessel was broken into many pieces, possibly through ritual destruction only to be pieced back together by us through a painstaking process, but one of the coolest jigsaw puzzles I have participated in. After excavation the cultural material was stored at the National museum of St. Vincent. The human remains were given to locals with indigenous ancestry and they properly reburied them away from the runway.

Double burial, the red circles mark where the reconstructed ceramic vessel on the right was recovered from.
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