Home News Local news Park Archeologist Makes Stunning Find at Cinnamon Bay

Park Archeologist Makes Stunning Find at Cinnamon Bay


Dec. 13, 2006 – When V.I. National Park archeologist Ken Wild recently started digging behind the Cinnamon Bay archeology lab to re-inter human bones washed up at the adjacent beach, his shovel struck masonry.
"It's a historic type floor," he said Wednesday.
Wild said the location indicates that the building was probably the kitchen used by the occupants of the plantation great house. The great house later became a warehouse and is now used as the archeology lab.
He said the building dates to around 1840, with the floor probably as old as 1820.
Since the discovery, a crew of volunteers from the Las Vegas Sierra Club excavated the upper layer. However, Wild thinks there may be more floors below the one just discovered.
During the excavation, the team discovered a silver coin from Curacao, inscribed with the date 1822. He said that one of the Sierra Club volunteers, Ed Rothfus, is interested in coins and plans to explore its origins. Rothfus once served as a ranger at the St. John park.
Wild said that a bottle imbedded in the floor will further help in determining the structure's date.
Wild said the skeletal remains of approximately 30 people believed to be slaves have been uncovered by erosion at Cinnamon Bay Beach. A number of those were found many years ago.
He said he's worked with members of the St. John clergy to develop a site for reburial and that a new area will be chosen for the burials to allow further exploration of the kitchen site.
Several years ago, Wild and his team excavated what turned out to be a Taino Indian temple that dates from about 1000 to around 1500.
To keep up with park's archeology projects, visit its archeology Weblog.
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