LIST OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS.
1st meeting of AAHS held 29 April 1981 inspired by find of intact Amerindian pot at Corito by David Berglund.
21 May 1981 constitution drafted by Don Mitchell adopted, with objectives:
To protect and preserve our cultural heritage
To document and record finds of archaeological or historical significance on Anguilla
To encourage reports of research or discoveries of an archaeological or historical nature in Anguilla
To encourage the passing of supportive legislation
The first President was Ms. Lena Gumbs,
Map of archaeological and historical sites published, an inventory of caves completed, and discussions held with Government on the following: passage of an Antiquities Ordinance; a proposal to use Wallblake House as a Museum; and development of the Old Court House Ruin on Crocus Hill.
First exhibition of archaeological and historical artefacts
AAHS joins the Caribbean Conservation Association as an institutional member.
Growth in membership, activities and donations of artefacts and historical items.
The Antiquities Ordinance was passed by the House of Assembly, for the first time all archaeological and historical artefacts in Anguilla and its waters became protected by law.
AAHS hosts UNESCO and other visiting consultants.
Nik Douglas, qualified archaeologist, takes up residence on Anguilla and addresses AAHS on The Fountain and its petroglyphs.
Government passes a motion to acquire 2 acres of Fountain lands for public purposes, but no formal action taken.
March, AAHS presents paper to Government “Recommendations for The Fountain” suggesting area be formally acquired and declared a National Park, and reminding Govt of the 1979 Island Resources Foundation Report highlighting the Jocahu finding and the significance of the ceremonial cavern.
May, a second paper “Tests at the Fountain: A Major Arawak Indian Ceremonial Centre” submitted to Govt, based on a number of field trips in which a number of petroglyphs were definitively identified and approximately 5000 pottery sherds recovered from at least 40 sites.
Valley Development Plan drawn, including a museum site in the old Customs building. .
Timothy Hodge reports to the AAHS on his visit to Harrison’s Cave in Barbados and emphasized the real possibility of revenues being generated from the Fountain once it is acquired and developed.
AAHS wrote to Govt on 19 January 1985 about providing a Govt building to display artefacts.
AAHS holds Anguilla Day Dinner at which 6 Anguillians were honoured and presented Honorary Memberships; David Carty announced the official acquisition of 4¾ acres of Fountain lands as a National Park.
AAHS represented at 11th International Congress on Caribbean Archaeology in Puerto Rico in July, detailed paper presented on the Fountain.
The Fountain entrance closed to prevent further damage to petroglyphs and graffiti.
AAHS elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Caribbean Conservation Association.
AAHS elects 9-member Fountain Committee under chairmanship of David Carty, AAHS President.
AAHS application for CIDA funding to conduct surveys at the Fountain approved 7 October.
19 December, carved shell mask recovered from rendezvous Bay site shown to AAHS, members learned of further archaeological work done and proposed at the Fountain.
A number of surveys considering speleological, geophysical, flora and fauna, archaeological, bats and other aspects of the Fountain were conducted, and detailed developmental plans were drawn and funding sourced for the development of the Fountain National Park. Additional lands were also purchased.
AAHS initiated, planned and oversaw conversion of old Customs Building for a National Museum with all professional services donated. The Society also secured grants from the CIDA and the McArthur Foundation. Local fund raising and other in kind contributions were also received.
Produced AAHS Review 1985 documenting in detail for the first time the vast and valuable archaeological and history of Anguilla.
All artifact in the possession of the AAHS and its members transferred to workshop area in Museum Building.
AAHS promoted the formation of the Anguilla National Trust (ANT). Modeled after National Trust legislation.
Legislation to establish the ANT was passed, and members of the AAHS formed part of the ANT Council.
The ANT hires first full time staff member. AAHS agreed to housing of the ANT in one room of the Museum Building.
Fountain National Park Development Corporation formed with President of the AAHS, Timothy Hodge was named as President reported to the various persons serving as Parliamentary Secretary.
Full plans submitted to Dept. of Physical Planning and passed for Historic Village and conversation of Old Count House to National Museum on Crocus Hill. Lease of site approved by Ex Co. the Society Raised US$1,000.00 towards setting up exhibits in National Museum.
Initiated campaign with posters and bank arrangements for donations to bring public attention to plight of Anguilla’s old buildings, many being allowed to deteriorate beyond repair.
The AAHS submitted an objections and were successful in blocking to the registration of the Cap Juluca trade mark on the grounds that the name ‘Juluca’ and the symbol of the rainbow deity, use in creating the logo, were both in the public domain and cannot therefore be restricted from public use, no more than the Christian cross, the Muslin crescent or the Star of David. The AAHS also indicated in their objection that all the petroglyphs in the fountain must be similarly protected. The matter was raised again in 2012, when AAHS again objected.
Dismantled and recorded architectural details of old dwelling house in Lower Valley prior to partial demolition and modernization.
Rescued traditional house about to be destroyed and removed it to a safer site.
Supported writing of thirty-six articles on historic architecture and interviews with owners of Anguilla’s historic homes.
Taped interviews with elderly Anguillians about their lives, homes and past times.
AAHS were entrusted with a film shot by a policeman from England during the 1969 invasion by paratroopers.
Commissioned oil painting of Old Courthouse on Crocus Hill from photograph of Armistice Day Celebrations in 1919. Donated free to Society.
Supported architectural map production of Historic Lower Valley and detailed measured drawings of historic buildings (Acquired by Govt)
After the automation of the lighthouse the AAHS arranged for the transport of the beacon to Anguilla and had it displayed at the Public Library until the creation of a permanent display.
Compiled information on Sombrero (supplied by Violet Berry’s family)
Initiated and conducted Historic Tours of The Valley and Sandy Ground with illustrated memento leaflets.
Placed large donated stone with plaque announcing entrance to Historic Lower Valley area.
Supported Exhibition “The Way They Built’ of seventeen oil paintings of historic buildings, many of which no longer exist. (Purchased by Govt., prints of which are now on sale to raise funds for ongoing works.)
Restored Governor Richardson’s Grave in Sandy Hill Cemetery and erected protective railings and informative plaque.
Cleaned Sandy Ground Cemetery to reveal historic gravestones.
Working through the AAHS, Ms Lillian Azevedo-Grout spearheaded the Anguilla Heritage Trail Project. The output of which is still an important element of our heritage tourism.
AAHS designed signs and provided artwork for Heritage Trails.
The AAHS applied for a received a grant from the Endangered Archive Project of the British Library for a project to review and digitized all pre 1900 paper records in Anguilla. The project lasted three months. During that time two archivist digitised all the pre 1900 court records, deeds, births deaths and marriages and all the published copies of the Anguilla Beacon Newspaper currently online on the Anguilla Library Service website. These documents are now on the British Library Website.
The equipment used, which now belongs to the AAHS, is on loan to the Anguilla Public Library where it is used to digitize other historical documents.
Supplied qualified professional personnel to design and execute initial stages of development of Fountain National Park in 2014-15 prior to visit of the post conference tour of one hundred Archaeologists attending the Tri-National Congress of IACA in St Maarten.
AA&HS help requested by Government re design, choosing, sourcing and pricing materials suitable for use in the Archeology and Amerindian Interpretation Centre and Trail, to render an interesting, professional and presentable completed project to an acceptable standard in case of UNESCO inclusion.
Provided at no cost technical expertise in landscape design, trail design and interpretation panel design as well as logistical support at a value of over US$10,000.00
In process of arranging for an AA&HS vault for safe storage of all artifacts in the building provided by the AAHS for use by the ANT (other than those in the NBA vault) and of the remains of Amblyriza , and arranging for 3D copying of priceless and small artifacts.
Support to Archeological Research
The AAHS has Supported Summer schools from the University of Farmington Maine and the University of Vermont in ’95,’97 and ’99, led by Dr. Jim Petersen and Dr. John Crock, conducting archaeological digs. Quote from Dr. Jim Petersen, archaeologist, (deceased) “Anguilla is the richest island archaeologically, in the region.”
Supported Summer schools from University of Michigan State in ’95,’96 doing underwater archaeological research.
Hosted social events for summer schools for students to meet public of Anguilla and to raise general awareness.
Organised lectures visiting Archaeologists during visits of University personnel to bring awareness of finds and importance of ongoing works to public.
Recipients and custodians of bones of Amblyrhiza from Museum of Natural History in New York, USA and of a full life size mock-up of Amblyrhiza skeleton left to AA&HS by Drs. McPhee and McFarlane, paleontologists, (were stored in ANT Building).
Supported Anguilla Maritime Research in setting up Marine Parks and received complete collated evidence of El Buen Conseo and other history researched from archives in Spain.
Promoted funding from Anguilla Maritime Research of US$ 25,000.00 (given to Government) for setting up a National Museum.
Due to the vigilance of the AAHS, Anguilla was able to recover several of the medallions from the El Buen Conseo which were previously exported illegally. The AAHS executive discovered that these artifacts were on sale on Ebay and was able to identify the seller through its contact at UMV. The FBI regional officer was contacted who pursued the case. The medallions were later handed over to the Government by the US embassy.
Hosted exhibit of priceless archaeological artifacts and coins from El Buen Conseo under Police supervision to allow public to view.
2008-09 Partnered with the University of Southampton as they carried out an Underwater Cultural Heritage Survey of Anguilla as part of an Underwater Archaeology Survey in the Eastern Caribbean. The primary goal of the Anguilla-University of Southampton partnership was to record the underwater cultural resources of Anguilla, creating a baseline for future work and establishing a working relationship between the University of Southampton and Anguilla.
Ms. Lillian Azevedo-Grout was sponsored by the AAHS, to come to Anguilla to complete her Doctoral Thesis in Underwater Archaeology.
Coming out here for research Ms. Azevedo also completed a book on Anguilla’s history, “Beyond the Beaches”, entrusted to the AA&HS for sales.
Currently collaborating with Temple University, Pennsylvania, USA to host a professor and master students to conduct archaeological digs on the Island this summer.
In the absence of a regulatory body the AA&HS has coordinated with Government, developers and professional archaeologists to facilitate rescue archaeology in advance of hotel and other development projects and secured support from developers for visiting archaeologists, salvage excavations, and archaeological analysis.
Over the years the AAHS has become custodian of over ninety thousand artifacts including valuable finds from archaeological digs, mostly housed, catalogued and protected in the Museum Building in a room prepared by the Society for storage and work area for visiting archaeologists.
AA&HS holds the key to the box in the bank vault of the previous NBA building, storing the most priceless artifacts of the collection.
Several research papers on Anguilla Archaeology have also been prepared by Universities and Museums some on behalf of the AAHS. Copies of all of these are in the custody of the AAHS.
Local Franchising and Promotion
Designed T-shirts showing archaeological shell mask for sale to support works of Society and to bring awareness of works. c.1994
Designed embroidered T-shirts using petroglyph designs from Fountain Cavern to bring awareness of future project and raise funds for such.
Created annually, Christmas cards, showing pen and ink drawings or paintings of archaeological artifacts and featuring other subjects of historical interest, i.e. Wallblake House, The Warspite etc.
Governor Peter Johnstone presented last uniform to Society for show in the National Museum and AA&HS custodianship. c.2004
N.B. THE ABOVE HAS BEEN ACHIEVED THROUGH THE DEDICATION AND HARD WORK BY MEMBERS OF THE AAHS WITHOUT ANY FINANCIAL SUPPORT EXCEPT THAT RAISED BY THE MEMBERSHIP FEES, SALES OF T-SHIRTS, CARDS, SMALL DONATIONS ETC COLLECTIVELY FOR WELL OVER THIRTY-FIVE YEARS.
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