Professor Michael Jarvis Launches Archaeology Field School Blog
May 28, 2012
Professor Jarvis's Smiths Island Archaeology Project Website.
Most people today know Bermuda for its pink sand beaches, honeymoon suites, offshore companies, and global business centers, but the island has an even richer history: It is the oldest colony in the British Empire and will celebrate its 400th anniversary this summer. At only 22 square miles, the island is packed with four centuries of dynamic history – a wonderful laboratory for studying the blending of European, African, and American cultures that characterize the Atlantic World. St. George’s (where we will be based) was founded in 1612 and boasts dozens of houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The sites we hope to find on Smiths Island are even older, dating to 1610. Historical archaeology on land in Bermuda is a mere two decades old; most previous excavations have focused on fortifications, churches, and eighteenth-century domestic sites, but our investigations seek to shed light on the lives of Bermuda’s earliest English, African, and Native American settlers. We are fortunate that prudent preservation efforts by the Bermuda National Trust and National Parks have saved Smiths Island from the rapid pace of development that has recently occurred in much of Bermuda.