Results from Pilot Survey and First Field Season, 2010
Over the course of ten days in January 2010, and five weeks in June and July of 2010, SLAM conducted a pilot study and first full field season of a select portion of the landscape in the northern third of the island, which, according to local informants, contains several undocumented prehistoric and historic sites. The results of the first season of survey and targeted excavation were promising, and included the location and documentation of over a dozen previously unknown prehistoric sites and undocumented historic-period sites. In addition to conventional survey and documentation, SLAM collected GPS data points on all site/feature locations to anchor maps to remote sensing, satellite data in a geographic information system (GIS). The GIS and other data from the survey area has been compiled and analyzed in terms of landscape and archaeological features, including vegetation, topography, soil type, artifact concentrations, and site locations. Together, these data provide an important tool for educational purposes and for assessing the potential environmental or developmental impacts threatening the archaeological sites. These data are foundational for guiding future survey and excavation work in the non-exclusion zone, which is envisioned as a multi-year collaborative initiative between archaeologists and the Montserrat community. Two papers detailing the 2010 and 2011 finds will be presented by John Cherry and Krysta Ryzewski at the 2011 IACA meetings in Martinique.