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New archaeological discovery at UWI

Published:Friday | February 3, 2012 | 6:39 PM

A construction worker has discovered bones on a site close to the new Basic Medical Sciences Complex at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona.

Archaeologists at the UWI Mona are now carrying out investigations and documentation at the site.

On Tuesday, the construction worker, Robert Ellis, reportedly recognized bones in the walls of a trench that was dug in the vicinity of the Medical Sciences complex.

He alerted his supervisor, following which the Department of History and Archaeology was contacted.

Since yesterday, a team led by Dr. Stephan Lenik, Lecturer in Archaeology with students and other archaeologists on Fulbright Fellowships to the Department, along with a team from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust have been carrying out recovery and documentation of the site.

Given the proximity of the site to an area known to have been the Papine slave village, it is believed that it may have been a burial ground related to the free or enslaved labourers.

However, further analysis is necessary to establish the date of burial and identity of the individuals interred.

The UWI, Mona says all the necessary precautions are being taken to respect the area, as far as is possible, and to avoid further disturbance to the cemetery.