Volunteers Sifters Needed at Cinnamon Bay Excavation

A VINP volunteer, right, sifts through exacation debris at Cinnamon Bay with the help of VINP archaeologist Ken Wild.

The Virgin Islands National Park is looking for volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty.

Volunteers are needed until May 28 at Cinnamon Bay to assist the national park in its largest excavation ever, according to Ken Wild, archeologist and cultural resource manager for VINP.

“Volunteers are needed to help us sift through the debris from the excavation,” Wild said. “No experience is necessary, but they need to wear things that they don’t mind getting dirty.”

The entire flatland of Cinnamon Bay rests on an archeological site and Wild said an array of interesting discoveries have already surfaced during the last two months of the excavation.

“No matter where you dig, you will find something important,” Wild said. “We have found some very interesting artifacts out there — an awful lot of pottery, some three-pointed stones that the Taino made for the gods, and one of the most significant discoveries was a Saladoid site, which were the first people who brought ceramic and agriculture and domesticated animals to the Caribbean.”

Four to five volunteers are needed each day to look for artifacts using sifting screens. Interested volunteers can show up at Cinnamon Bay between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but park officials ask that children under 16 are accompanied by a parent.

“And you have to leave what you find,” Wild said. “It belongs to all of us.”