St. Eustatius Airport Expansion Project: Day 4 (April 24, 2021)
The site is currently divided into two sections, a prehistoric section (Saladoid settlement) to the east, and an early-mid 18th century site about 100 yards to the west. Eventually, the land in between these areas will be excavated, as it is assumed that both intersect at a certain point- meaning the 18th century site will, somewhere along the line, overlap the Saladoid settlement. We already have seen evidence of this at the western location.
I began working briefly at the prehistoric settlement this morning, defining the edges of post holes for photography and excavation:
Each blue flag denotes a feature, which are generally defined by variations in soil color.
This area is located 50 feet from the island's MedEvac helicopter hangar. The pilot, who has been extremely courteous, came out to tell us that they were going to be taking off shortly, which meant we had to stow our gear and anything else that might blow away. He even took care to angle the chopper in a way as to minimize the rotor wash in our direction, as the soil here is extremely dry and blows everywhere.
Later, I worked up at the 18th century site to help map out an area that contained a complex array of features:
After a very long (and hot) day on site today, I came back to the Science Center with a bit of sunburn- even after applying, re-applying, and re-re-applying SPF 50, throughout the day. I drank just shy of 6 liters of water as well.
It's not all work, though. In the evenings, the team gathers on the front patio for dinner, beer, music, and banter.
It's a fantastic crew that SECAR has assembled here, and I truly believe that the work we're doing- the specifics and extent of which I can't go into at this stage- will provide an important and solid educational foundation for public outreach and cultural heritage preservation for the island's inhabitants.
Tomorrow is Sunday, and everyone has the day off to do much-needed laundry and room cleaning. You can imagine what 12 people dragging dirt from the site back to the Science Center looks like after 5 days!
For my part, I'll be heading back to the site with the director to finish up an important drawing so that excavation work can continue on Monday.