Jamaica Gears up for Caribbean Archaeology Conference


Jamaica is gearing up to host more than 200 archaeologists from across the region at the 2007 International Association for Caribbean Archaeologists (IACA) conference.
The five-day event, which will be staged in Jamaica for the first time, is slated for the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown Kingston from July 23 to 29 under the theme: ‘Diversity of Caribbean Archaeologists’.
In an interview with JIS News, Technical Director of Archaeology at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and conference chairman, Roderick Ebanks, said that the event will bring together some of the foremost archaeologists from the region, including Spanish, English, Dutch, and French-speaking countries, to discuss matters relating to Caribbean archaeology.
Among the topics for discussion are: The Archaeology of Enslavement, Abolition and Emancipation, and The Preservation of the Archaeological Resources of the Caribbean. These sessions, Mr. Ebanks informed, will explore specific results that come from 1807, at the time of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans.
He noted that other sessions will look at the pre-ceramic and ceramic Ages, historical archaeology, underwater archaeology, physical anthropology, new approaches to Caribbean archaeology, and cultural resource management. Mr. Ebanks informed that a total of 92 papers will be presented by the archaeologists, “dealing with every single island almost”. Delegates will get an opportunity to tour Port Royal, the Seville Heritage site in St. Ann, among other historical spots.
He extended an open invitation to history teachers from secondary schools, university and fifth and sixth form students, whom he noted, can obtain special rates for entry.
Interested persons can obtain additional information at the JNHT’s website at www.jnht.com., which also provides a link to the IACA conference.
According to the website, delegates attending an IACA meeting in July 2005, overwhelmingly nominated Jamaica to host the next conference.
Dr. Jay Haviser, head of the IACA reportedly visited the island and got a firsthand view of the facilities that will be available to delegates attending the conference.
The IACA is the premier regional body that promotes archaeological research.

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