Nigel Sadler, A Museum consultant, with previous experience in Turks and Caicos Islands says Cayman needs better legislation to help save its cultural material and historic artifacts.
“Right now on land there is a lot of development going on and it is not clear what is being lost on some of these development sites.”
Sadler believes we could be losing a lot of potentially significant information about Cayman’s past. “In most cases, the archaeologists or museum are not asking for these sites to be preserved forever, on land definitely, they are asking for permission to investigate, uncover the story, record the information before the archaeology is destroyed without any scientific study.”
The consultant’s task is to look at the historical resources both on land and in the sea and make recommendations. He is also looking at the existing provisions for the archaeological programme in Cayman, which can be summed up as just about nil. It doesn’t exist.
According to Sadler, everyone in the Caribbean is selling just about the same tourism product: sea, sand and sun. What sets the Islands apart from one another is their individual culture and history.
“For example in the Cayman Islands there is a wealth of heritage here both in the physical structures, but also in the intangibles, the oral history, the places of memory and primarily it is to look at how these resources can be made available to Caymanians first and foremost, to get them involved in recording their history, being presented with their history and then if there is a product there to market it for tourists as well.”
Sadler believes there are a number of historical sites in Cayman that are suitable for archaeological work and he believes the excavations would expand our knowledge of Cayman’s unique history.