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World 18th century graveyard found at former Caribbean plantation

03:15  01 june  2021
03:15  01 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

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An 18 th century burial ground has been discovered at a former sugar plantation on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, officials, and archaeologists say it likely contains the remains of slaves and could provide a trove of information on their lives. Government officials said 48 skeletons had been found at the site so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants. Alexandre Hinton, the director of the St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research, said many more remains were expected to lie in the graves at the former Golden Rock Plantation .

An 18 th century burial ground has been discovered at a former sugar plantation on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, officials said Monday, and archaeologists said it likely contains the remains of slaves and could provide a trove of information on the lives as enslaved people. Government officials said 48 skeletons had been found at the site so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants. Alexandre Hinton, the director of the St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research, said many more remains were expected to lie in the graves at the former Golden Rock

An 18th century burial ground has been discovered at a former sugar plantation on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, officials said Monday, and archaeologists said it likely contains the remains of slaves and could provide a trove of information on the lives as enslaved people.

Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer) © Provided by Associated Press Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer) In this photo provided by St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research, SECAR, the skull of what is believed to be an enslaved man sits in the ground at an excavation in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. According to specialists, the filed teeth are an indication that this man belonged to the first generation of slaves from Africa, because filing teeth was forbidden by slave owners. (SECAR via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo provided by St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research, SECAR, the skull of what is believed to be an enslaved man sits in the ground at an excavation in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. According to specialists, the filed teeth are an indication that this man belonged to the first generation of slaves from Africa, because filing teeth was forbidden by slave owners. (SECAR via AP)

Government officials said 48 skeletons had been found at the site so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants.

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image captionThe graveyards of Greytown are a physical reminder of a long-gone era. Half-buried in the fringes of a thick jungle along Nicaragua's southern Caribbean coast, the remains of a once promising British colonial outpost hide shyly from the rest of the world. Greytown, as the British called this river-mouth trading post in the 18 th and 19 th Centuries , is now a quintessential ghost town. image captionPeter Stevenson was drawn to Greytown to find out more about his family's history.

Start studying Plantation life in the 18 th century . Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards, games and other study tools. What were the new cAribbean colonies established by France and England in the 1600's? Why? Jamaica: england—half an island> to find more land for sugar plantations Hispaniola:france > to find more land for sugar plantations .

An archaeologists excavates in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer) © Provided by Associated Press An archaeologists excavates in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer)

Alexandre Hinton, the director of the St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research, said many more remains were expected to lie in the graves at the former Golden Rock Plantation.

“We are predicting that the number of individuals buried here will surpass the burial site discovered at Newton Plantation on Barbados, where 104 enslaved Africans were excavated. This is one of the largest sites of its kind ever discovered in the Caribbean,” she said.

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Sugar plantations in the Caribbean were a major part of the economy of the islands in the 18 th , 19th, and 20 th centuries . Most Caribbean islands were covered with sugar cane fields and mills for refining the crop. The main source of labor, until the abolition of chattel slavery, was enslaved Africans.

In the 17th and 18 th centuries slaves were moved from Africa to the West Indies to work on sugar plantations . This industry and the slave trade made British ports and merchants involved very wealthy. Between 1700 and 1709 the trade in sugar increased dramatically due to the increasing popularity of sugar to sweeten luxury drinks such as tea and coffee. In 1700, Britain's sugar consumption was 4 pounds (weight) per person, a century later that had risen to 18 pounds per person.

Authorities said the site was found while archeologists checked an area needed for expansion of an airport.

“We knew the potential for archaeological discoveries in this area was high, but this cemetery exceeds all expectations,” Hinton said.

Given the location near the former plantation, Hinton said the graves most likely contain the remains of enslaved people.

“Initial analysis indicates that these are people of African descent," she said. "To date, we have found two individuals with dental modification that is a West African custom. Typically plantation owners did not allow enslaved persons to do this. These individuals are thus most likely first generation enslaved people who were shipped to St. Eustatius.”

The majority of the burials contain remnants of coffins, coffin nails and objects that were buried with the deceased, such as several intact tobacco pipes, beads and ceramic plates. A coin from 1737 depicting King George II of England was found resting on a coffin lid.

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In the 17th and 18 th centuries slaves were moved from Africa to the West Indies to work on sugar plantations . This industry and the slave trade made British ports and merchants involved very wealthy. The first colonies of the British Empire were founded in North America (Virginia, 1607) and the West Indies (Barbados, 1625). In 1655 Jamaica was secured. Around six million Africans were taken as slaves to the Americas, at least one third of them in British ships. It has been estimated that overall, about 12 million Africans were captured to be taken to the Americas as slaves.

An Anglo-Saxon graveyard with "huge potential" has been unearthed beneath former university student housing. King's College, Cambridge discovered the extensive cemetery, containing more than 60 graves , after demolishing a group of 1930s buildings. Evidence of Iron Age structures and Roman earthworks was also identified. Dr Sam Lucy, from the University of Cambridge, said the discovery of graves spanning different periods was "very unusual and really interesting". Since the 19 th century , archaeologists have believed there was an early Medieval/Anglo-Saxon cemetery in west Cambridge.

An archaeologist shows a coin found on top of the remains of an enslaved man, dated 1737, at the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Tim van Dijk) © Provided by Associated Press An archaeologist shows a coin found on top of the remains of an enslaved man, dated 1737, at the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Tim van Dijk)

Experts at several universities around the world will analyze the remains to learn more about the lives of the buried individuals.

Hinton said Leiden University in the Netherlands will conduct “stable isotope analysis” to determine the peoples’ diets as well as whether they were born on the island. Harvard will do DNA analysis to find where the people came from, and England's Northumbria University will do protein studies to discover what diseases they might have suffered.

Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer) © Provided by Associated Press Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer)

One of the most important outcomes of the research will be a more thorough understanding of the lives of slaves in the Caribbean. Most of what is known about their lives comes from the writings of people in power, such as colonial administrators and plantation owners, sources that can be biased or incomplete.

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Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer) © Provided by Associated Press Archaeologists excavate in the former Golden Rock plantation west of the international Airport in Oranjestad, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, on the Leeward Islands, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Government officials said that 48 skeletons had been found at the site of an 18th century burial ground so far, most of them males, but also some females and infants, and that it could provide a trove of information on their lives. (AP Photo/Dick Drayer)

St. Eustatius, which lies in northeastern part of the Caribbean, was colonized by the Dutch in 1636 and became an important transit port for the regional trade in sugar and slaves from West Africa.

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