Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Brimstone, Sea and Sand

The Historic Port Town of Sandy Point and its Anchorage

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Cameron Gill

Cameron Gill's PhD research entitled “Brimstone, Sea and Sand: the Historic Port Town of Sandy Point and its Anchorage” investigates the first major port town in St. Kitts, an English colony in the West Indies and one of the early important ports in the Eastern Caribbean.

Cameron commenced his PhD in Archaeology at Leiden University in 2012. His doctoral thesis is entitled “Brimstone, Sea and Sand: the Historic Port Town of Sandy Point and its Anchorage”. Sandy Point was the first major port town in St. Kitts (the first English colony in the West Indies) and one of the early important ports in the Eastern Caribbean. Sandy Point was also a major centre for trade (both legal and illicit) and communication between the British and Dutch West Indies up to the mid twentieth century. Up until the withdrawal of the last British garrison in 1853, one of the main functions of the Brimstone Hill Fortress was to protect the strategic anchorage at Sandy Point.

However, this once thriving port, and other Lesser Antillean ports, have been largely overlooked by historians and archaeologists. Cameron is pursuing his research from an inter-disciplinary perspective, incorporating archaeology (both maritime and terrestrial), archival sources and oral history. Cameron’s research aims include creating a greater awareness and understanding of the importance of this port city to the British and Dutch Atlantic World systems; the port’s influence on British defensive strategy; a greater understanding of the development and subsequent decline of Britain’s Atlantic World System; and a greater understanding of how a West Indian town’s port function can impact its society and culture, including its built landscape.

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