Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mehrer, Mark

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Gold mines and mining; Prehistoric--United States Virgin Islands--Saint John--Analysis; Metal-work--United States Virgin Islands--Saint John--Analysis; Excavations (Archaeology)--United States Virgin Islands--Saint John--Analysis; Archaeology


The purpose of this research is to examine the origin, manufacturing technique, function, and meaning of metals used during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries on the island of St. John, United States Virgin Islands. This project focuses on two metal artifacts recovered during National Park Service excavations conducted between 1998 and 2001 at a shoreline indigenous site located on Cinnamon Bay. These objects currently represent two of only three metal artifacts reported from the entire ancient Lesser Antilles. Chemical and physical analyses of the objects were completed with nondestructive techniques including binocular stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, and particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry with assistance from laboratories located at Northern Illinois University, Beloit College, Hope College and The Field Museum. This data will be combined with contextual site data and compared to other metal objects recovered throughout the ancient Caribbean.


Advisors: Mark Mehrer.||Committee members: Luis Antonio Curet; Leila Porter; Kenneth Wild.


113 pages




Northern Illinois University

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