Nevis: Archaeology Field School in West Indies

Nevis: Archaeology Field School, Nevis West Indies


July 5 - July 27, 2019  

Program Description 

This course is designed to introduce students to the hard realities of archaeological fieldwork and research methods through hands-on fieldwork on a research site in the Caribbean. The fields of archaeology and the study of history are as rich and diverse as they are compelling. This upper division course explores the panorama of events in the Caribbean during the historic period, beginning with contact and colonialism, with particular emphasis on plantation studies, the African Diaspora, slavery, and human impact on environmental change.

Archaeology is a lively scientific pursuit and current developments within the field will highlighted. Although current theoretical frameworks and methodologies are integrated into the course, the chief focus is on establishing a broad understanding of practical research design, site survey, excavation techniques, adapting to unexpected problems during research, and the context for archaeological interpretation. The course is interdisciplinary in scope and will investigate how archaeologists use various scientific techniques to learn about the past. This course is as much about the practice of archaeology and the political ramifications of research as it is about findings in the field and methodology. Student will be led in discussions on critical analysis and how modern society understands the past.

Students will live and work on the island of Nevis, part of the St. Kitts-Nevis Federation. On a daily basis student will interact with Nevisians and come to know their views and values. Nevis is a former British colony, independent since 1984. Students discover that the history of Nevis and the United States intersect at several junctures, from being the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton to being the scene of the first naval battle ever fought by the US Navy. During the colonial period before the American Revolution, Nevis and the continental colonies were critical trade partners with an intertwined economy base on sugar and slaves. Many Nevisians attend American universities and have family ties to communities in the US.

Through archaeology, students will be contributing directly to knowledge about the past of Nevis and its citizens. Through museum visits and daily interactions students will gain the Nevisian perspective on their former colonial past and what it means to be a Caribbean island nation. Students will read about the history of Nevis, but more significantly they will be contributing directly to the reconstruction of the historical past through their archaeological work.


ANTH 169 Archaeology in Practice (3 units)

Artifact recovery and analysis during archaeological field project. All phases of professional archaeological practice leading to publication of findings. 

Program prerequisite: Must have taken at least one Introductory Anthropology or Archaeology course


Marco Meniketti

Professor: Marco Meniketti

Marco Meniketti is an Anthropological Archaeologist with scholarly training in Historical, Industrial and Nautical archaeology. He has broad interests ranging from the age of exploration to colonial and industrial development, which he approaches from world-systems perspective. His focus is on diasporic populations and identity formation among marginalized communities, particularly in the Caribbean. Current projects include investigation of maritime slave communities and the ethnicity of exploration.

Professor Meniketti has been conducting research on Nevis since 1997 and have led SJSU field schools in collaboration with the NHCS several times. This will be the sixth season of research on Nevis for SJSU students. He has an ongoing research agenda centered on the island and students will engage in and contribute to authentic research.

His book is set to be released this December, covers several years of research and much was contributed by students through their work during the field schools since 2007.




It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$1,625 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$2,575 Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included. Students will need extra spending money for souvenirs.   


Coming Soon! 


Check out these additional resources for your program.

  • Itinerary - coming soon!
  • Info sessions - coming soon!

Check out some images of where past program stayed in Nevis! Thanks to Tim Rodriguez for the drone images!