The invasion's landing craft was truly enormous - made D-Day LC's look like rowboats. Had they wanted to, they could have rained fire down onto Hamilton - but luckily were distracted by the Promenade Deck happy hour...
Fast-moving mounted cavalry units fanned out across the city, shooting passersby as they went.
And this especially talented special ops pair (unencumbered by much bulky clothing) texted and sent real-time video surveillance of the battlefield back to base!
(Love the designer swag bag)
Our own modest invasion of the Bermuda Archives today was far more successful, beginning with a bus ride into "town" from St. George's - which in itself is an interesting cultural experience -->
At the archives, we talked about the many different types of documents that historical archaeologists use - deeds, grants, maps, sketches, wills, probate inventories, letters, tax assessments, maritime protests, newspapers - and how they use them to find and interpret sites. It was especially cool to examine the colonial records, read the minutes of the June 1616 assize, and imagine the clerk setting down the words before us in thatch-roofed timber-frame church while the colony was still in its infancy. We also pored over Richard Norwood's 1663 survey map, which marks the location of hundreds of potential archaeological sites - including our own at Smith's Island.
We were in the outside reading room - the wall of glass behind us encloses a more climate-controlled space for working with sensitive documents. I call it the "aquarium" or "fish bowl" and feel a bit on display when I work within it, but appreciate how important it is to preserve the documents for future researchers and posterity. Mike spent the entire day inside working through various 1770s-80s letters from Bermuda to St. George Tucker in Virginia - a very rich collection.
At lunchtime, we visited the Bermuda Historical Society Museum to see whole examples of the sorts of artifacts that are often recovered on 18th-century sites.
We capped off an amazing day with a ferry ride across the harbour to Darrell's Wharf and a dinner hosted by Margie Lloyd. We ate traditional dishes like ham and cassava pie off porcelain plates, with Margie's 18th-century ancestors looking down upon us from the wall, frozen in time by Joseph Blackburn in 1752. The chocolate cake and ice cream were thoroughly modern - and delicious, so food history went out the window at desert time. The students did learn about the amazing Old House Survey project that Margie pioneered in the 1970s - identifying and inventorying every building in Bermuda that could be dated to before 1898 using Thomas Savage's Ordnance Survey map. This data evolved into the parish-by-parish architecture books that the Bermuda National Trust has produced - six parishes down, three to go!
We were strangely exhausted by the time we headed back to St. George's - whoever thought that reading documents could be so tiring? At least we escaped being captured and dragged aboard the Veendam for a cutthroat game of shuffleboard and the midnight buffet...!
|It's COLD in the Archives!|