Archaeologists Looking for Volunteers For Cinnamon Bay Campground Dig

VINP archaeology official recently unearthed this possibly 2,000-year-old effigy face, below, at Cinnamon Bay, above.

A new sewer line project at Cinnamon Bay Campground has already unearthed a possibly 2,000 year old effigy face, and V.I. National Park archaeology officials looking for help to find more interesting objects.

Contractors are installing new sewer lines and re-digging a trench at Cinnamon Bay Campground which was originally dug in the 1960s or 70s, explained Ken Wild, VINP chief of archaeology.

That time around, there was no archaeologist overseeing the project and artifacts were moved, explained Wild.

“Since the objects were already dug up and replaced, they are not considered historical artifacts anymore because they’ve left their context,” said Wild. “We can’t exactly say what layer they were in and exactly where they were found originally. But these objects are still interesting and still have educational value.”

“We’ve already found one museum-quality object and I’m sure there are many more,” he said.

Contractors will remain in the original ditch line, so VINP archaeology officials and interns have been busy screening the upturned dirt for ceramic, Taino art pieces like the effigy already found and more, explained Wild.

“The ditch line goes through the exact area where the village was here at Cinnamon Bay,” he said. “We could find just about anything in the area from Zumi stones to effigy faces which were used on pottery and to represent ancestors to artifacts from the 1800s.”

With a limited staff, VINP archaeology officials are hoping that the public will pitch in the treasure hunt, Wild explained.

“We’re looking for volunteers to help us screen all the dirt in the ditch line area,” he said. “They will be looking to separate the ceramic pieces and other artifacts from rocks and debris. And who knows what they could find.”

Interested volunteers should show up at Cinnamon Bay Campground anytime after 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and be ready to get their hands dirty.

For more information call the VINP archeology lab at 715-8580.