Ryan Espersen with book about Race, Class and Gender in pre-emancipation Saba

THE BOTTOM – This week Ryan Espersen presented the book “Better than We” with landscapes and materialites of Race, Class and Gender in pre-empancipation colonial Saba, published by Sidestone Press. The volume combines Espersen’s PHD research with fieldwork and excavations on the island between 2017 and 2022. 

The Saba Archaeology Foundation and the Saba Commission for Reparations arranged to order 1,500 copies for local distribution and libraries with support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW) and the Island Government of Saba. 

A book launch on Saba is expected later this year. Esperson says he is grateful to the people Saba and everyone for their support for making this happen, and especially to Vito Charles for leading the initiative.


Espersen is an historical archaeologist, cultural heritage consultant, and public educator. Following his Research Masters in Archaeology at Leiden University in 2009, he obtained a Bachelor of Education (2011) to teach high school on the island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean as a means to start a local archaeological education program for both youth and adult residents. He co-founded the Saba Archaeology Center (SABARC) on Saba in 2012 and with government and NGO support, it expanded to include an archaeology office, lab, and museum. In 2012 he joined the European Transatlantic Slave Trade (EUROTAST) research group as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie early stage researcher for his PhD, hosted by Leiden University. He obtained his PhD in 2017 and have been consulting in heritage management and archaeology across the Netherlands and north-eastern Caribbean.

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