25 June 2012


Maritime Archaeologist, Dr Kroum Batchvarov, delivered the public lecture entitled Rockly Bay Research Project: The Maritime Archaeology of Ships as Vehicles of Globalisation and Power Projection at the National Library on Friday 22 June.

Dr Batchvarov, a lecturer at the University of Connecticut, is in Trinidad and Tobago to carry out an archaeological investigation of the shipwrecks of the historic 1677 naval battle in Scarborough Harbour, Tobago.

The expedition is being conducted in collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly, the Embassy of the United States of America, the University of Connecticut and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology.

According to information on the Global Exploration and Oceanographic Society website, the objectives of the project are:

  • To organize and fund an archaeological expedition to excavate, document and conserve the shipwrecks from the naval battle of 1677, fought at Scarborough Harbour.
  • Establish conservation facilities where material recovered from the wrecks can be treated in accordance with the latest methods for the benefit of the people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Provide educational opportunities through a field school for students from the West Indies of the University and the participating educational institutions to train in methods of underwater excavation, resource management and preservation.

The lecture featured the history of the presence of warships in Tobago during the 17th century.  By way of a Power Point presentation, Dr Batchvarov pointed out the areas of Rockly Bay where the excavations are taking place.  He also presented his findings about the various items and materials found aboard the Dutch ship and confirmed that these items were on the ship at that time it entered Tobago waters.

Following the lecture he engaged members of the audience, which included ambassadors and professionals in the maritime field, in an interactive session.