Sapodilla Hill

Occasional Papers Series

Occasional Papers of the Museum

The Occasional Papers is a digital publication series offered by the Turks and Caicos National Museum. It is dedicated to providing an outlet for scholarly inquiry that pertains to the history, archaeology, and culture of the Turks and Caicos Islands in particular and the Caribbean in general.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for electronic publication in the series, please contact the editor, Dr. Matt Williamson at

To access a report, click on the title.

Occasional Paper #1: The Archaeological Exploration of Ft George Cay, October-November 2009 (Donald H. Keith, PhD and Toni L. Carrell, PhD)

Abstract: Archaeological exploration of Ft. George Cay began on October 23, 2009 and ended two weeks later on November 6, 2009. Impetus for this project began in 2008 with the realization that after decades of casual artifact collecting, limited historical research, and mapping, there were still no answers to even simple questions such as: How big is the site? Is it confined to Ft. George or are the surrounding cays also involved? Which military units occupied the fort? How much of  the site has been lost to the sea? Were British soldiers buried on the cay? The archaeological exploration described in this report is an effort to answer some of these questions, but it is only one part of a larger effort that includes, on-going archival research, artifact conservation and analysis, museum exhibit preparation, public relations, and management planning designed to make Ft. George accessible to the public without destroying its natural beauty in the process.

Occasional Paper #2: Report to the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources of the Turks and Caicos Islands on the Archaeological Survey of Endymion Rock Nov. 27- Dec. 13, 2007 (Donald H. Keith, Ph.D)

Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was twofold: to examine the HMS Endymion that ran aground August 23, 1790 on a hidden reef south of the island of Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, BWI and field test all survey systems on board two ships from the Waitt Institute for Discovery (WID).  The WID team performed a side-scan sonar and magnetometer survey of a 12 nm2 area around and beyond the reef where the Endymion is located that helped to discover and map numerous cannons, iron ballast bars, and at least two anchors.  They also located the wreckage of more recent ship, tentatively identified as theGeneral Pershing that went missing on July 11, 1921.  Among the items associated with this wreck is part of a large hot bulb oil diesel engine.

Occasional Paper #3: Cheshire Hall: The Future and Potential of a Loyalist Plantation Complex on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (Donald H. Keith, Ph.D.)

Abstract: This manuscript examines the nature and condition of the architectural remains of the Colonial Period plantation complex known as Cheshire Hall located on Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, BWI and reviews its archaeological potential.  It is based on a survey conducted in February 2000. It is hoped that this report will be of use in evaluating the site’s present physical condition, its importance for future archaeological exploration, its historical interpretation, and possibly even its reconstruction.

Occasional Paper #4: A visit to Cotton Cay (Donald H.Keith, Ph.D. and Randel C. Davis, D.O.)

Abstract: As part of the Turks & Caicos National Museum’s continuing effort to explore and inventory sites of historical and archaeological importance in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Donald Keith and Randal Davis visited Cotton Cay over a two-day period Feb 1-2, 2002.  The objectives of the visit were to re-visit the two known Lucayan sites on the island’s Northwest and North coasts, to walk entirely around the coast of the island looking for other traces of past human habitation, and to measure and survey the ruins of the stone house on the island’s Southwest coast.