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Preacher's Cave

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Date Issued:
2010
Summary:
Preacher's Cave, an archaeological site in North Eleuthera, Bahamas, is arguably one of the most important historical places in that country. This large cave, isolated in a natural setting, has long been associated in the popular imagination with the first English colonists who shipwrecked in the Bahamas in 1648 and laid the foundation for the modern nation. Before the present work, no systematic scientific archaeological work had ever been conducted at this site. While Project Director for the Preacher's Cave archaeological investigations in 1991, 1992, 2005, 2006, and 2007, I acted as liaison between the Bahamian Government, local island constituents, and the team of scholars who accomplished the work, organizing all aspects of the excavations. By analyzing the recovered material assemblage from these excavations, we were able to prove that the seventeenth-century English Puritans not only used Preacher's Cave for shelter in the first period of colonization, but altered the natural rock formations of the cave for use as the first church in the Bahamas. These excavations, in conjunction with the written record, also suggest that the area surrounding the site is the location of the first free black community in the country. Finally the scientific investigation confirmed Preacher's Cave as a prehistoric burial spot for the Lucayan people who lived in the islands before Columbus landed in 1492. These burials are unique because they were recovered with grave goods and one of the five Lucayan burials appears to be a victim of human sacrifice. No where else in the country do these three compelling narratives come together and form the basis for the development of a National Heritage Tourism Site.
Title: Preacher's Cave: developing a national heritage tourism site in Eluthera, Bahamas.
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Name(s): Day, Jane S.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of Anthropology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xiii, 186 p. : ill. (some col.)
Language(s): English
Summary: Preacher's Cave, an archaeological site in North Eleuthera, Bahamas, is arguably one of the most important historical places in that country. This large cave, isolated in a natural setting, has long been associated in the popular imagination with the first English colonists who shipwrecked in the Bahamas in 1648 and laid the foundation for the modern nation. Before the present work, no systematic scientific archaeological work had ever been conducted at this site. While Project Director for the Preacher's Cave archaeological investigations in 1991, 1992, 2005, 2006, and 2007, I acted as liaison between the Bahamian Government, local island constituents, and the team of scholars who accomplished the work, organizing all aspects of the excavations. By analyzing the recovered material assemblage from these excavations, we were able to prove that the seventeenth-century English Puritans not only used Preacher's Cave for shelter in the first period of colonization, but altered the natural rock formations of the cave for use as the first church in the Bahamas. These excavations, in conjunction with the written record, also suggest that the area surrounding the site is the location of the first free black community in the country. Finally the scientific investigation confirmed Preacher's Cave as a prehistoric burial spot for the Lucayan people who lived in the islands before Columbus landed in 1492. These burials are unique because they were recovered with grave goods and one of the five Lucayan burials appears to be a victim of human sacrifice. No where else in the country do these three compelling narratives come together and form the basis for the development of a National Heritage Tourism Site.
Summary: But protecting an historic site and interpreting it for visitors in a country where tourism is one of the major industries can be challenging. This study summarizes past strategies that were successful in the development of a small museum on the nearby is Wells using the techniques of the public historian and public archaeologist to proceed with plans for the opening of Preacher's Cave as a national park. Discussions concerning constituents, park boundaries, access, and political realities in the twenty-first century Bahamas are considered while examining the larger concept of heritage and tourism as collaborative industries.
Identifier: 608683370 (oclc), 1927305 (digitool), FADT1927305 (IID), fau:2945 (fedora)
Note(s): by Jane S. Day.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2010.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2010. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Excavations (Archaeology) -- Bahamas -- Eluthera Island
Historic sites -- Bahamas
Preacher's Cave (Bahamas) -- Antiquities
Eluthera Island (Bahamas) -- Antiquities
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/1927305
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU