The St. Croix Archaeological Society has never had much more than 100 members since its founding in 2001, and has fewer than that now. But though small in numbers, it has some big ideas. The society is dedicated to getting residents and visitors excited about the pre-Columbian history of the island. That’s a pretty tall order, as the island has been inhabited for at least 2,000 years.
“A lot is known about the six hundred years since Columbus arrived here; it the the thousands of years before his arrival that we are concerned about,” says John Farchette III, one of the four founders of the organization and interim chairman of the board, during an interview Saturday in the society’s home at the St. Croix Archaeological Museum in Christiansted.
Many people are familiar with the names of such indigenous cultures as the Taino and Carib, both of whom were probably on the islands when Columbus arrived, probably near Salt River, in 1493. But the society also wants to know more about the Saladoid and Elenan Ostionoid cultures that inhabited St. Croix more than a thousand years before the Christian era began.
One way the society educates others about the pre-Columbian cultures is by collecting artifacts used in the day-today lives of those ancient people. A wide array of those artifacts are on display at the St. Croix Archeology Museum, off the Luncheria Courtyard in Christiansted. The building holding the museum is a bit of a historical piece itself. It was part of the Danish period Apothecary complex dating back to 1832.
The museum is open from 10 am. to 2 pm. Saturday and admission is by donation.