Work halts as remains are found in slave valley

A human grave was disturbed during roadworks in Rupert’s Valley, St Helena Government has reported. Remains are likely to be those of liberated Africans, brought ashore when the island was used as a base for captured slave-running ships. Basil Read, the airport contractor halted work as soon as the remains were found on 12 December […]

More human bones could be found in island’s slave valley

Further human remains could yet be disturbed as work continues on St Helena’s airport project, a source has cautioned. It’s been confirmed that “a number of human bones” were found on Friday 14 September 2012, on ground being used by construction firm Basil Read as a laydown area for equipment and materials. More than 300 […]

‘Dumped’ human remains found in slave valley

Human remains have been found on the site of the bulk fuel farm in Rupert’s Valley, reports Saint FM. The station says it is likely they had previously been unearthed at another site and “dumped” further up the valley. They are almost certainly the remains of Africans who arrived on St Helena, dead or dying, […]

Listen online: what slave graves mean for St Helena

If you missed Saint FM’s broacasts on the excavation of 300 human skeletons on St Helena, don’t worry: the programmes are still available as two podcasts on St Helena Online.  The discoveries in Rupert’s Valley in 2008 brought new insight into the horrors aboard slave-running “pirate” ships in the 19th Century. The skeletons were those of Africans who […]

Safe to drink again: Rupert’s water is clear of e-coli bug

People in Rupert’s Valley on St Helena no longer need to boil water for drinking and cooking, says the island’s health directorate. A warning was issued on 6 September saying low levels of the the potentially harmful e-coli bacteria had been found in the valley’s water supply. Further tests show it is now free from […]

E-coli bug found in island water supply

(11 September update: the water is now free of contamination) by St Helena Government writer Recent water samples from the Rupert’s Valley area have indicated low levels of e-coli contamination. Water in homes and businesses should be boiled or sterilised before being consumed or used domestically. The same precautionary measures should be taken if intending […]

PODCASTS: Hear the story of St Helena’s anti-slavery fight

When a Lieutenant Wilcox declared that his men were too exhausted to haul the dead out to sea any more, it brought home the horror of St Helena’s role in ending the “depravity” of the slave trade. The Lieutenant’s complaint is recalled in one of two audio podcasts produced for St Helena Online. They describe […]

Slavery expert is to rescue island’s ancient archives

Unique St Helena records dating back more than 300 years are to be rescued from possible “catastrophic loss”. Many of the ancient documents in the archives at The Castle in Jamestown are already in very poor condition because of a lack of temperature controls, according to St Helena Government. Some have been attacked by insects […]

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: ‘My intense grief for St Helena slaves’

Television archaeologist Mark Horton has described his emotion on coming “face to face” with the remains of slaves whose bodies were excavated from a mass grave on St Helena. They were among thousands of Africans brought to the island aboard captured slave-running vessels. “It was a moment of intense grief. Those were people. That was […]

Slideshow: St Helena’s slave graveyard

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A note from Simon: the launch of the new book about the excavation of the slave graveyard in Rupert’s Valley was fabulous and fascinating. Professor Mark Horton – sometime presenter on the BBC’s Coast series – said that the island’s role in the abolition of slave-running during its most savage era was of far greater […]