underwater cultural heritage
By Monique Washington
Lemuel Pemberton recently returned to Nevis having completed a Capacity Building workshop for Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Caribbean.
Pemberton was nominated by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society to represent Nevis and St. Kitts at the underwater archaeology workshop held in Jamaica.
The Workshop was sponsored by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in conjunction with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and was held at Morgan’s Harbor hotel in Port Royal Jamaica from November 5-30.
Other participating islands were host island Jamaica, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Pemberton informed The Observer that the workshop involved the first training of its kind in the region regarding people excavating or studying under water wrecks or any kind of artifact that might be under water in the Caribbean.
“The underwater heritage of the Caribbean has not been studied in great detail. There is a whole lot out there, apart from the treasure hunting you might hear about; there are still a lot of ships and buildings or parts of buildings under the sea.
UNESCO is trying to build a core of persons in the Caribbean so that this kind of thing can properly happen a little more in terms of underwater archaeology,” he said.
Pemberton will collaborate with persons from Texas A&M College who have a wealth of experience in archaeology so that when they visit Nevis to study these wrecks he will be the local person to make sure certain excavating protocols are followed.
Pemberton said that there are a number of sunken ships in the waters of St. Kitts and Nevis that persons have shown interest in studying.
He revealed that there is currently a PH.D candidate from Texas A&M studying the underwater ship, HMS Soul Bay.