Guyana: Archaeology students back from Kabakaburi dig - pottery, tools found

By Zoisa Fraser

Eleven persons, including University of Guyana (UG) students, have successfully completed a one-week course in archaeology, opening the gateway for others who are interested in pursuing studies in this field.

This course came into being when UG launched the Denis Williams School of Anthropology two Mondays ago though collaborative efforts with two US universities as a step towards offering full-time studies in the discipline in coming years.

Cultural anthropology has been part of the local university's summer programme for sometime now and this year archaeology was added. The Amerindian Research Unit of the School of Humanities at UG previously worked along with US-based Guyanese Dr George Mentore of the University of Virginia to offer the course in cultural anthropology. Recently Dr Mark Plew of Boise State University (BSU), Idaho, who has ties with UG spanning some 20 years, joined the team to carry the archaeology course.

The archaeology students described their experience as exciting and educational and said they were looking forward to more courses like the one they have just completed.

Four of the participants were from the university's environmental studies course, two from the forestry course, one from the creative arts course, two from Iwokrama and two from Kabakaburi Settlement in Region Two, where the students carried out an excavation exercise. Materials for the course were provided by BSU; UG financed the accommodation and meals and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport provided transportation for the students from Georgetown to Parika. The course for this first batch of students was free.

After three days of digging, the group came across pieces of pottery, stone tools, bones and other items left behind by early settlers. Some of these things will be taken back to the USA for analysis.

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