Jamaica National Heritage Trust -  Pedro Bank - Jamaica


Guidelines for Archaeological Research and Excavation in Jamaica

  1. All persons wishing to conduct archaeological research in Jamaica should contact the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT). Relevant Application Forms and related instructions may be obtained from the JNHT. Where there is one main project but several research papers /thesis to be generated, a main proposal must be submitted together with a proposal for each individual research activity.
  2. The JNHT in considering each application must be satisfied in relation to the following:
    1. The status of the applicant i.e. the individual must be from a non­profit educational institution.
    2. Competence of the directors of:
      (1) the project,
      (2) field operations,
      (3) finds processing,
      (4) conservation,
      (5) environmental research and physical anthropology.
    3. Adequacy of staff on project.
    4. The applicant's ability and willingness to train local staff to be involved in the project.
    5. The applicant's financial ability to properly fulfil the excavation and conservation requirements of the project; and
    6. Any other factors considered by the JNHT to be relevant.
  3. In the event that the JNHT is satisfied that the factors in Paragraph 2. Hereof have been fulfilled by the applicant, the JNHT may enter into a contract with the applicant to oversee and monitor the applicant's archaeological research activities under the following conditions:
    1. The applicant should provide training for Jamaicans inclusive of a field school, relevant certificates to be given on subjects covered and practical work done.
    2. The applicant should pay to the JNHT, certain administrative costs as determined by the JNHT.
    3. Copies of all logs, diaries, maps, catalogues, primary and secondary materials, and sources generated by or used in research to be deposited with the Trust on a periodic basis to be agreed on before hand.
    4. Copies of all photographs and slides (numbered, catalogued and described) to be deposited with the Trust on a periodic basis to be agreed on before hand.
    5. The applicants should provide the JNHT with regular reports on the progress of excavation and the overall research project.  The reporting schedule will be based on the individual project and will be agreed on before hand.N.B.    Projects that will have field seasons of more that one month will usually be scheduled for monthly reports.  Fieldwork will not be permitted to continue unless all documentation is submitted at the agreed date.
    6. The applicant will have total rights over his research material for up to three years after he has completed his excavation and research, after which the Jamaica National Heritage Trust will reserve the right to use and/or publish this material for the benefit of the Jamaican people
    7. All artifacts recovered form these excavations remain the property of the respective owners of the excavation sites (where the land is owned by the Jamaican Government, the artifacts remain the property of the people of Jamaica).  Therefore, after each excavation season, a final inventory of artifacts must be established.  Permission may be given by the JNHT and the relevant owners of sites, for the removal of artifacts from the island in the event that further research on and conservation of the artifacts needs to be done by the applicant.  These artifacts must be returned at an agreed date. Decision on removal will be made only after consultation with the Technical Director of Archaeology.  Permission will be granted only in very exceptional cases.
    8. The JNHT, where possible, may provide accommodation at a cost to be determined by the JNHT.
    9. Where archaeological excavations are to be conducted, there must be at least one representative of the JNHT present at all times to monitor and assist in providing general, technical and logistical support.  Where this representative is used the execution of the work programme this cost must be borne by the applicant.  In large projects additional JNHT staff may be necessary e.g. Finds and Conservation personnel.
    10. When a contract is entered into with the JNHT for archaeological research to be conducted in a designated area, research or excavation outside of the designated area is prohibited.
    11. All project proposals submitted to the Trust should have the following components:
      1. Project Objectives
        These must be fully defined and referenced to indicate clearly their relevance to Jamaican and International archaeological research issues and themes.
      2. Research Design
        A description and co‑ordinate location of the site to be investigated must be given.  A detailed presentation should be presented on survey, field, finds and conservation, and environmental and physical anthropological aspects.  The Research Design should include equipment and human resource needs, project scheduling and a detailed budget.  The finds analysis schedule should take into account the need to integrate the collection into the National Inventory of Objects, as defined in the Finds Manual of the Archaeological Division's Work Manual.
        Conservation of artifacts is normally done in Jamaica at the JNHT's Archaeology Division at a cost which is determined by the JNHT.  Only bona fide conservators will be allowed to work on collections and their work will be closely monitored by the JNHT's Conservation Staff.  Storage of artifacts will incur a cost for the purchasing of shelves, etc.
      3. A list of Participants in the project, their CV's and a list of three Referees.At least one referee from the applicant's immediate Faculty Board should be submitted.
      4. Funding ProposalsFunding sources, amounts granted together with confirmatory letters are included under this heading and should be submitted.
      5. Permission to research on property which is not owned by the Jamaican Government. Copies of letters of permission from landowners to conduct research on their property must be submitted.
    12. The costs to the paid to the JNHT in relation to the project are related to individual research papers. Each research person who will be writing a thesis/research paper from the project should be so noted. The cost will be calculated on the basis of individual research papers.
    13. Extension of the contractual periods will only be considered if the applicant can produce sound reasons why he/she was unable to complete the project within the agreed time.
    14. The JNHT will not enter into subsequent contracts with a previous applicant to conduct archaeological research until and unless the JNHT receives a written report on the previous phase/year's research, including copies of all primary documentation, bibliographies as indicated in Section 3 hereof, and a complete financial statement giving a breakdown of expenditure on for example, labour, transportation, food, vehicle repairs, gas, shipping, accommodation, and customs duties.

The Jamaica National Heritage Trust invites interested persons to contact us for further information.



APPLICATION FOR PERMIT(Information and instruction)


NOTE: The Jamaica National Heritage Trust welcomes scholars in all fields and requires that all research ventures in Jamaica have ADEQUATE financial and professional support.  Applications should be made at least six (6) months in advance  in order to give sufficient time for all application information to be verified before permit is issued.  Insufficient or wrong information may result in rejection or delay in the issue of permit.

Application should include:

  1. NAME
    (Provide full name and position and highest professional and/or academic qualification and institution from which it was earned).
    (Provide name and address, the period of affiliation, telephone and FAX numbers).
    (Name of project, research area, describe background of research, specific questions to be addressed etc., dates of the research ‑ provide an itinerary or schedule)
  4. RESEARCH DESIGN (1‑2 pages)
    (Methods to be used to attain stated objectives note theoretical and practical aspects of the approach)
  5. FIELD TRAINING (1 page)
    (How will Jamaica benefit from the project)?
    Attach a list of participants and CVs including your own.
  7. FUNDING PROPOSALS (1 page or more if necessary)
    (List names and provide full address, telephone and FAX numbers of persons or institutions contributing towards the specific phase(s) of this project ‑ with dates where relevant; indicate the exact amount of contribution) Note: these may be verified.  Only adequately funded projects will be approved for permit.  Funding needs should take into account: (a) Conservation fees(b) Finds storage fees(c) Use of Divisional staff on site(d) Publication of reports
    (Provide names and addresses of affiliated local institutions; attach a letter or request a letter form the institution confirming and indicating the extent of connection, contributions, etc.)  This is very important for your application.
    (List of any previous research in Jamaica in the last three years; indicate the location of data; have reports been submitted to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust?  If not state reasons or attach copies with this application.  Note that submission of reports is a major condition for the renewal of permit)
  10. REFERENCES (1 page)
    (Provide names, titles institutional affiliations, addresses, phone and FAX numbers of at least THREE people who can comment with insight on the professional and personal qualification of each Principal investigator on the project ‑ do not request a letter from any of them.)
    (Signature indicates that you certify that all information provided in the application is correct: Kindly check and make sure all details are accurate before sending it in for consideration).


  1. Procedure
    1. Upon request and payment of US $5/JA $200 fee the Divisional Guidelines for Application and or Application for Permit form is sent to the proposer.
    2. Upon returning the application, it is assessed :-
      ‑  If accepted, a contract is sent.
      ‑  If it is not accepted, a written statement is sent to the proposer explaining why.
    3. The contract is signed before work begins.
  2. Fee Structure
    1. University
      ‑   Phd/Faculty member    US $500.00
      ‑   Phd/University/Non‑faculty member    US $300.00
      ‑   Msc/Mphil/MA member   US $100.00
    2. Independent
      ‑  Overseas/Non‑funded; option to waive
      ‑  LocalUniversity funded from overseas/locally funded‑ negotiate. Individual negotiated fees based on funding.




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