JIS News

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  • Technical Director of Archaeology, Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Dorrick Gray, is urging Jamaicans to visit the island’s heritage sites, so they can better familiarize themselves with the country’s rich history.
  • He said that while it is important for them to visit the over 2,000 sites during the periods of Emancipation and Independence, Jamaicans, particularly children, should visit these sites frequently in a bid to preserve the nation’s heritage.
  • He noted that public education campaigns and drives are critical in this regard, so that persons can be informed and make informed decisions.

Technical Director of Archaeology, Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Dorrick Gray, is urging Jamaicans to visit the island’s heritage sites, so they can better familiarize themselves with the country’s rich history.

He said that while it is important for them to visit the over 2,000 sites during the periods of Emancipation and Independence, Jamaicans, particularly children, should visit these sites frequently in a bid to preserve the nation’s heritage.

Some of the island’s sites include, but are not limited to: sugar works, statues and memorials, special communities, railway stations, parks and gardens, national heroes’ sites, mineral spas, lighthouses, historic schools, historic districts, great houses, free villages, forts, courthouses, clock towers, churches, cemeteries, caves, bridges and archaeological sites.

“It is for us to get our people to understand a lot more about (their) heritage and (their) culture,” Mr. Gray told JIS News in an interview.

He noted that public education campaigns and drives are critical in this regard, so that persons can be informed and make informed decisions.

“We have hundreds of artefacts being stored on behalf of our people and many of our people have never seen them. We need to organise some programmes, so that we can showcase the (protected artefacts that are being stored),” he said.

The JNHT legally protects the nation’s architectural heritage in two ways: declaring a site a national monument, and designating a site a protected national heritage.

Under the JNHT Act, a site is declared a national monument, if in the opinion of the Trust, its preservation is a matter of public interest by reason of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic, aesthetic, scientific or archaeological value. The Act also defines protected National Heritage as any place, species of animal or plant life or any place or object designated by the Trust.

The primary functions of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust are: to promote the preservation of national monuments and anything designated as protected national heritage for the benefit of the Island; to conduct such research as it thinks necessary or desirable for the purposes of the performance of its functions under the Jamaica National Heritage Act.

Other functions include: to carry out such development as it considers necessary for the preservation of any national monument or anything designated as protected national heritage; and to record any precious objects or works of art to be preserved and to identify and record any species of botanical or animal life to be protected.