Water Island Archaeological Project
excavation photo

From May through August 1998, an extensive archaeological investigation was undertaken on Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The study was conducted by a research team from the Southeast Archeological Center, National Park Service (SEAC). Many Water Island residents also volunteered countless hours of labor and assistance.

The report was published by David G. Anderson of the Southeast Archeological Center of the National Park Service.

The fieldwork was implemented because the United States federal government, which owned the island, was transferring it to the Virgin Islands government and to private ownership.

Arawak IndiansAn earlier survey of the island, conducted by SEAC in 1992 (Wild and Anderson 1992), together with a brief follow-up visit in 1996, located a number of historic and prehistoric sites, including the remains of two major plantations, a smaller isolated structure, and an extensive World War II fortification complex.

Many of the ruins were in an exceptional state of preservation, and were superbly documented in the historic record, prompting the research program described here.

The report, too large and detailed to be included in full here, can be read at The Water Island Archaeological Report.

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