The drama between Cabot (Saint Lucia) and the Saint Lucia National Trust has taken another twist with a declaration by the latter that it has identified further evidence of the lifestyles of the indigenous people on the site at Cas en Bas, which has been earmarked for development by the former.“More artifacts were unearthed during an archaeological dig in an area designated as the Archeological Priority Area at Cas en Bas, during the second visit of the Archaeologist Dr. Reginald Murphy: 14th-28th 2021,” noted the Trust in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement due to the substantial amount of work planned during this short period, the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society (A&HS) approached the Saint Lucia National Trust for assistance with volunteers. Given that the Trust and the A&HS have been advocating since 2019 for the conduct of a thorough Archaeological investigation of this important site prior to the development of the 300-acre site by Cabot (Saint Lucia), the Trust rallied to ensure the necessary voluntary support was available.“The Trust wishes to reiterate that the organization has to date, not been formally engaged by the relevant authorities, at any point of Dr.Murphy’s assignment-from fieldwork through to the presentation of findings. However, as the organization with a legal mandate to promote the preservation of objects of archaeological, historic or traditional interest, it was important to assist,” the SLNT stated.
The Trust claimed that its members and that of the A&HS and the public were able, during this phase of the investigation, to get further insight into the historical importance of this site, which is a possible first contact site between the Kalinago and Europeans. During the archaeological dig, evidence of the Kalinago diet, their utensils, and tools were found, as well as several decorative pieces of pottery.
This second trip of the archaeologist was longer and allowed for some valuable and much-needed interaction with the public enabling them to convey their concerns in relation to the significant socio-cultural contribution of the area.“The Trust is aware that due to time limitations, Dr. Murphy was only able to focus on a portion of the priority area identified in the earlier Environmental and SocialImpact Assessment Report, and he was also unable to undertake investigations of other possible Kalinagosettlement sites within the development area, including at Secret and Donkey beaches.
The Trust reiterates that the Act that created the SaintLucia National Trust charges the organization to, inter alia, locate, list and promote the preservation of objects of archaeological interest and to act in an advisory capacity to the government. We, therefore, urge the Development Control Authority to engage the Trust in this ongoing processto ensure that the historical assets of Saint Lucia are protected and preserved, not only for our generation but for generations to come,” notedthe Trust in its statement.
The Trust stated that it was pleased to be able to work in partnership with the A&HS and thanks Dr. Reginald Murphy for ensuring that all volunteers were oriented in the investigation approach and for providing a wealth of information on the importance of documenting, protecting and promoting the unique history of the Caribbean Region.