St. Maarten joins in hosting 2015 Archeology conference

POSTED: 08/3/11 1:11 PM

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT/THE VALLEY – St. Maarten, St. Martin and Anguilla will jointly host the 25th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology in 2015 after the original nomination of St. Maarten/St. Martin received an overwhelmingly positive reception and went unopposed. The selection was made during the business meeting of the 24th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology, which was held in Martinique from July 24 to July 30.

The bi-national nomination of St. Maarten and St. Martin was supported by letters of intent from Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Rhoda Arrindell, President of the Collectivite Frantz Gumbs, Christophe Henocq of the St. Martin Museum and the Board of Directors of the University of St. Martin. Henocq and Dr. Jay Haviser, who is the Director of the St. Maarten Archaeological Center (SIMARC) will be the co-chairs of the 2015 meeting, which will include a day trip to Anguilla.

“This is an important international recognition for our island, as one island in unity, and a show of international respect for our capacity in areas of professional scientific research. Indeed hosting of this IACA congress will also support our tourism and economic sectors,” Haviser said in a statement he issued on Tuesday.

Haviser led a three person delegation to the Martinique meeting where he also presented two papers. One paper was his analysis of the three African skeletons excavated at Zoutsteeg last year and the other was about his archaeological work in Bonaire. The other two members of the delegation were SIMARC students Kess Lusia (Milton Peters College) and Luis Hurtault (St. Maarten Academy) who presented a paper on the community and service work done by SIMARC and the Bonaire Archaeological Institute (BONAI).

SIMARC’s participation at this year’s IACA, which drew several hundred participants from 20 countries, was funded primarily by the Mondriaan Foundation via Regeling KulturA of the Netherlands, and additionally by the St. Maarten Lion’s Club.

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