Oct 21: Prof. Whitney Battle-Baptiste (UMass Anthropology): Archaeology in the Bahamas

posted Oct 22, 2014, 9:52 PM by Amherst Club
Oct 21: Prof. Whitney Battle-Baptiste (UMass Anthropology): Eleuthera, Bahamas and Archaeology there

Our usual scribe Linda Honan was unable to attend today. I asked for a volunteer, and after an uncomfortable silence Joan Hanson volunteered. Since Joan and Jacquie Price (and my long-suffering wife) are always the ones to volunteer when nobody else does, I asked for somebody else – preferably someone who does not already volunteer on the board. The silence was deafening.

When we joined the club, we all agreed to volunteer from time to time to help with running the club, and especially to help with the annual fundraiser. Unfortunately, some members have forgotten or choose to forget, leaving the burden on others. If we want our club to be vibrant, it is incumbent on all of us to do our bit – encourage friends and acquaintances to join as new members (otherwise the club will slowly die), help the less fortunate members of our community by volunteering with the fundraiser, etc.

Since we had no volunteer today, I announced that we would not have any lunch notes this week. But one of our newer members, Tony Papirio, has stepped in and created these notes from memory. Thank you Tony - did you finish the wine yet?



President Roger Webb called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, and welcomed us all.

Jacquie Price announced that there are committee sign up sheets on every table for the upcoming Cabaret fund raising event and encourage members to sign up for a committee if they hadn’t already done so.

Larry Siddall announced that there are still tickets available for the upcoming Amherst Club activity:

Arcadia Players  All Beethoven Program,  On Sunday, October 26,  3:00 PM at the Wesley Methodist Church Hadley, MA  

He said to contact him for reduced admission.


Rachel Mustin introduced her daughter Carolyn, who resides in Los Angeles California.

Andrea Battle introduced our Associate Member Ms. Tartakov

Andrea Battle introduced our speaker, Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, an Historical Archaeologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at UMASS Amherst.


                Dr. Baptiste spoke on her work in community based archaeology on Eleuthra Island in the Bahamas. She told of the make up of the population there: the indigenous Lucayan people, the Loyalists, cotton plantation owners from the American south who were transplanted there by Britain after the Revolutionary War, and the Africans, who were there as slaves. Her research site, the Miller Plantation, was ill suited to cotton farming and was abandoned by it’s owner Mrs. Miller, who bequeathed it to eleven families living there. Her talk concluded with a description of the struggles of the descendants those heirs to preserve their heritage by establishing it’s historical significance in the history of slavery and the slave trade, in a place where the real estate is highly coveted by wealthy celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey as well as  Britain’s Royal Family.

Raffle:   Tony Papirio won the wine  and Claude Tellier the $10


                Scribe – Tony Papirio