Craig Stevens

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Northwestern U.

Grant number

Gr. 10733

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Stevens, Craig (Northwestern U.) "The Love of Liberty Met Us Here: Archaeology as a Tool of Restoration and Reclamation"

This research project empowers marginalized Liberian stakeholders through the archaeological heritage of Providence Island, the first place of arrival for the 19th century Black American settlers that would found the Republic of Liberia. Through analysis of Indigenous coarse earthenware excavated from Providence Island, the proposed project will deploy archaeological methods as a means of introducing counter-colonial historical narratives regarding the settling of Liberia and its most prominent heritage site. The project deploys 3D digitization and visualization technologies, such as photogrammetry, and Augmented and Virtual Reality, to enliven fragmentary archaeological artifacts and meaningfully integrate community interpretations within the analysis of poorly understood Indigenous Liberian ceramic types. As a community-based archaeological investigation into the history of Providence Island’s inhabitation, this project seeks further evidence regarding indigenous use of the site before the arrival of Black American migrants – potentially allowing wider segments of Liberian society to identify with and stake claim in this consequential heritage landscape.