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Bristol University to Provide Assistance in Archaeological Research

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, January 17, 2002 - Efforts at documenting the archaeological history of St. Lucia were formalized on Thursday, January 17, 2002 when St. Lucia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with the British-based Bristol University. The University will work in partnership with the St. Lucia National Trust over a three-year period in designing research projects in St. Lucia for local and international students.

Head of the Archaeological Department at Bristol University Dr. Mark Horton says the memorandum agreement as a way of putting something back in St. Lucia, “to try to help you understand about your past and to try and recover those fragments of the past which have been lost through the wars, destructions, fires and all the other vicissitudes that have fallen upon this lovely island.”

Chairman of the National Trust Marcus Day says the archaeological research will assist in re-interpreting the island’s history from a West Indian and Caribbean prospective. “What this project means is that we are adding to knowledge of the French settlements in the 17th Century. We are also adding to the knowledge of the contribution of the African slaves. The Europeans wrote the history and much of the contributions of the slaves were not written and it’s through this we are able to find out about contributions by people other than the victors,” said Mr. Day speaking at the signing ceremony which took place at the Governor General’s official residence at Morne Fortune.

The M.O.U also makes available expertises from Bristol University in conducting environmental impact assessments and overseeing archaeological explorations on the island. In the words of Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, “The new St. Lucia/Bristol University partnership stems from long historical ties. Dr. Horton did speak of the links that have existed in other fields, principally in education but also in other fields like medicine and literature, namely the humanities. It is therefore a pleasure for us to add to that list archaeology and to take a look at the sciences.”

Over 70 St. Lucians have studied at Bristol University.


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