The St. Croix Archaeological Society in the U.S. Virgin Islands was recently given a collection of 54 pre-Columbian artifacts. As the St. Croix Source reports, most of these artifacts were found on St. Croix in the 1940s and 1950s by Dick Richards of Frederiksted. His family had stored the artifacts away in 1986 and recently decided to donate them for the education of the people of St Croix and visitors to the island.
Some of the pieces dated back 2,000 years to the early clay workers of St. Croix, the Saladiod [sic] culture. Some date to the culture that was here when Columbus sailed by Salt River, the Taino people. Richards found many of these pieces in the then sugar cane fields of Lower Bethlehem, Negro Bay, Fair Plain and Golden Grove. He became fascinated by the artifacts and their history.
Little was known about the early inhabitants of St. Croix then. Richards also collected pieces during his travels around the Caribbean, Central and South America.
His family remembers parts of his collection going to the St. Croix Landmarks Society and the Fort Frederik Museum. Richards always wanted his material to be available in a museum to promote education and tourism on St. Croix.
The St. Croix Archaeological Society will place his collection on display at the St. Croix Archaeological Museum at No. 6 Company Street, Christiansted, and will continue to work with the National Park Service towards opening a permanent museum at Salt River.
Under the VI Antiquities Act of 1998, artifacts found are the property of the landowner. However, excavation of archaeological sites must be done by a trained archaeologist licensed by the State Historic Preservation Office in the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. [. . .]