Current Research


A Systematic Survey and Mapping Project

Dr. Murphy has begun an intensive survey of all cultural heritage sites of Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. The survey team is utilizing GPS and is gathering data for developing cultural layers for developing a GIS Cultural Heritage Survey map of Antigua and Barbuda.

All heritage sites will be mapped, valuated, ranked and recommendations made for the end-use of these sites. It is anticipated that this will reduce the accidental loss of archaeological sites by development and act as a baseline for heritage tourism development and research. Prominent natural heritage sites and known underwater sites will also be included. As this is a volunteer based project that has no funding, it is anticipated to take several years to complete.



Betty's Hope Revisited

Archaeological research continues at Betty’s Hope. The foundations of the Great House are currently being excavated by Dr. Georgia Fox of Chico Campus, California State University. Survey of the site continues to find and map additional structures and archaeological deposits.  Archaeology on site is concentrated in the areas of rum distillation and the slave village.  It is now clear that Betty’s Hope was a large and complex industrial and residential site and archaeology to date has only scratched the surface of this large estate. In addition, the microfilms of sections of the Codrington Papers at the Museum of Antigua have now been digitized into a “more user-friendly” format for researchers.  


Indian Creek

In the early 1970s, the Indian Creek Arawak site was excavated by Yale University and the Antigua Archaeological Society. It proved to be an exceptional site with archaeological deposits representing the entire Ceramic Age on Antigua Barbuda. A series of middens surrounding the central area of the site were excavated and the ceramic chronology for the region was established by Professor Irving Rouse. Rouse chronology for Antigua gave the name Indian Creek to the earliest ceramics representative of the Saladoid culture. All of the excavated ceramics were taken to Yale University and are housed in the collections of the Paebody Museum.  As these early excavations were focused primarily on ceramic chronologies, the site will be revisited by Dr. Murphy and a multidisciplinary team. The focus will be to re-evaluate the ceramic chronology, to investigate cultural and environmental changes, subsistence strategies, and lithic analysis. Today Indian Creek is a dry xerophytic environment that is not capable of supporting settlement which raises the question, how could such a substantial settlement have developed and remained there for over 1500 years. This project has just begun and is still in need of funding and field archaeologists.  


current research | field research centre