SLAVE SHIP TROUVADORE EXPEDITION TO GET UNDERWAY IN JULY

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The Turks and Caicos National Museum is pleased to announce that a team of archeologists, museum staff, and filmmakers will return to the island of East Caicos July 9-22, 2006 to resume their search for the remains of the slave ship Trouvadore. The expedition has a two-fold mission; to test excavate and identify a wooden shipwreck discovered during a 2004 expedition, and to expand the search area using state-of-the-art mapping and remote sensing equipment.

The Trouvadore was a Spanish slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Caicos Islands in 1841. The ship had 193 Africans on board who were rescued, apprenticed for one year in the local salt trade, and then freed by the local British authorities. A large part of the local population today can trace their ancestry back to the Trouvadore. The story has been uncovered through a decade of archival research conducted in eight countries on three continents and the Caribbean.

The Trouvadore Project is a collaborative effort between the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the archeological research institute Ships of Discovery, film producers Windward Media/HoustonPBS, and the Government of the Turks and Caicos. The project is a multifaceted initiative to protect and study the remains the Trouvadore, if found, and to preserve its cultural legacy. A documentary about the shipwreck and its survivors will be broadcast to an international audience.

The 2006 expedition is partially underwritten by a grant from the Ocean Exploration Program, a division of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Although better known for its weather prediction services, NOAA is also committed to the study and preservation of the earths’ marine ecosystems and cultural resources.

Additional funding for the upcoming fieldwork is provided by the Friends of the Turks & Caicos National Museum, a US-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Museum’s research, operations, and outreach activities. Locally, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board is also providing funding for the project.

The 2004 expedition was accomplished with support from local developers and hotels, the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association, the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, and private donors.

The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory, is a chain of more than 40 islands southeast of the Bahamian archipelago with a population of less than thirty thousand people. Tourism comprises the largest segment of its economy, sustained by the country’s beautiful pristine environment and, increasingly, its rich cultural heritage.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Nigel Sadler, Director, Turks & Caicos National Museum, 649-946-2161 or museum@tciway.tc