The Barbados Museum Appointment of Sub-Committee to Newton Enslaved Burial Ground

Located in the Southern parish of Christ Church, the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground is the largest and earliest undisturbed sugar plantation communal enslaved burial grounds found in the Western Hemisphere. This site is a resting place for our African ancestors who were so cruelly removed from their homelands and forced to endure the horrors of slavery.

Extensive archaeological excavation at the site has revealed information about the lives of our ancestors. Some of the artefacts uncovered included jewelry, smoking pipes and eating utensils. Artefacts and burial practices have also provided insights into the religion and culture of enslaved Barbadians. The archaeological site helps document the daily struggles of our ancestors, and is widely considered an important site of memory for the slave trade, slavery and emancipation.

Due the historic significance of the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BMHS) deemed it fitting to appoint a Sub-Committee which will not only have the responsibility of advising Council and the BMHS staff on the development, interpretation and promotion of the archaeological site, but also to assist with the monitoring and management of the site. It will also recommend strategies for fundraising to support the development of the Newton Slave Burial Ground which is under the BMHS’ control and ownership. The Sub-Committee took effect on Emancipation Day, Saturday 1st August 2020.

Chair of the Committee, Dr. Tara Inniss, Lecturer in History at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus, said “The Committee has much work to do to continue to highlight the role of enslaved Africans in building our society. We have gleaned so much of the lives of enslaved Barbadians from Newton plantation from both the archaeology and the records that exist for Newton and we are called on to make this an important site for the commemoration and reflection of their contributions to Barbados.”

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