Tobago Archaeology Project gets US$25,000 from Ambassadors Fund

Derek Chung of the Tobago Historical Trust mapping the Scarborough Harbor project
Derek Chung of the Tobago Historical Trust mapping the Scarborough Harbor project

October 27, 2014:  This year Trinidad and Tobago made history by receiving its first grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  The U.S. $25,000 grant was awarded to a team of U.S. archaeologists and Trinidad and Tobago volunteers who are working to recover artifacts from Scarborough Harbor in Tobago.

In a bid to repeat this success, the U.S. Embassy is now encouraging others who work in the cultural heritage domain to submit proposals for consideration for the 2016 grant of up to U.S. $60,000.  Information on the criteria and application process for the AFCP grant is available on our website www.trinidad.usembassy.gov.  Applications should be sent to ircpos@state.gov Deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, November 30, 2014.

The Scarborough Harbor project is being led by Kroum Batchvarov, lead archaeologist at the American Institute of Nautical Archaeology and Assistant Professor of Maritime Archaeology at the University of Connecticut. His team, which includes six Trinidad and Tobago nationals, has already done extensive work on the site at Rockley Bay, Tobago and will return in May 2016 to undertake further excavation of the 17th century artefacts from the 1677 Franco-Dutch naval battle.  Through the conservation of the endangered archaeological material, the team hopes to create long-term local capacity in conservation and preservation of the underwater cultural heritage in Trinidad and Tobago.  At present, no similar capacity likely exists in the entire Caribbean region.

The Scarborough Harbor Project will provide rare opportunities for local students to obtain practical experience and training in a variety of scientific disciplines, support the Tobago House of Assembly’s effort to establish Tobago as a leader in the protection and management of underwater cultural resources in the Caribbean region, and enhance Tobago’s reputation as a leading destination for cultural tourism.

The AFCP provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and collections, as well as forms of traditional cultural expression, in more than 100 developing countries around the world. Information on AFCP is available at http://go.usa.gov/fZQW