St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) National Trust is working to mitigate the impact of the April 2021 eruption of La Soufrière volcano on the nation’s petroglyphs and other historical sites. Recently, the SVG National Trust led a number of community groups to clean 13 Stones Petroglyph, located on a ridge between Petit Bordel and Chateaubelair. Although the site is called 13 Stones, it comprises over 16 rocks, into which hundred of “cup holes” are carved.
La Verne Bentick Phillips, Manager of the SVG National Trust, said: “Various community groups have come together as part of the workshop carried out by the Caribbean Branch of the International Council on Archives: Caribbean Heritage Emergency Network (CARBICA-CHEN) and UNESCO, where we are actually doing the practical cleaning of these petroglyphs.”
The cleaning of the petroglyphs was part of a series of workshops organised by the Department of Culture, the National Commission for UNESCO as well as the Cluster Office for the Caribbean in collaboration with CARBICA-CHEN. The webinar series focuses on building capacity and resilience for cultural heritage in St. Vincent. “This project is basically about targeting heritage areas affected by the eruption of the volcano,” Bentick Phillips said. “The objective of this exercise is to build a knowledgeable and resilient cultural heritage emergency response team.”
As an output of the workshop, the SVG National Trust is partnering with several community groups such as the Rose Bank Development Group, the Rose Hall Community Group, the Sharpes Community Disaster Response Team and Buccament Disaster Response Team. These groups participated in Saturday’s activity.
Bentick Phillips said that when the group arrived at the site, they found the cup holes full of volcanic ash, just one week shy of the first anniversary of the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano.