In the summer of 2006 the Cane River African Diaspora Archaeology Project (CRADAP) began to explore the plantation of a Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Ailhaud St. Anne. Archival research revealed that Ailhaud St Anne immigrated to the Cane River Colony in the 1780’s. In 1794 he received a large land grant on the Isle Brevelle and throughout the early nineteenth century he went on to expand his landholdings and become a person of considerable wealth for the area. Moreover, the Ailhaud St Anne plantation is the contemporary and adjacent property of the Marie Therese Coincoin plantation. The plantation is of archaeological interest because it provides an opportunity to explore possible differences in material culture between communities in colonial Louisiana, expanding our knowledge of the spatial layout of colonial plantations, and to access the utility of ground based remote sensing methods in plantation archaeology.
In June 2006 archaeological work began on the plantation site with the NCPTT Summer Institute conducting a geophysical survey of the area, followed by ground-truthing of anomalies. Excavations continued through early July as part of University College London’s master’s student Kristy Williams’ research on historical and archeological methods in plantation archaeology.