Thursday, August 11, 2022

Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation Honors Longtime Archaeologist

Director of Archaeology David Girens and Dr. Bill Kelso examine an artifact recovered during the 2012 excavations of a 1608 kitchen and cellar. (Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation)

JAMESTOWN — The Board of Trustees for the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation (JRF) announced the establishment of the Dr. William M. and Ellen B. Kelso Fund for Archaeology in recognition of the couple’s contributions to rediscovering and preserving Jamestown’s history.

Dr. William “Bill” Kelso was in charge of the team that located the site of the original James Fort in 1994. Before than it was widely believed that the fort had been lost to erosion from the James River.

Since that discovery Bill and other archaeologists have found millions of artifacts that helped paint a clear picture of the area when it was first settled in the early 17th century.

“The discovery of the fort and subsequent excavations have forever changed what we know about our nation’s founding, and Jamestown has many more secrets yet to be revealed,” said President of the JRF James Horn. 

The Kelsos contributions were not limited to the realms of archaeological discoveries. Since 1994, they have also helped build a first-rate team of archaeologists, curators, historians, and support staff.

“Many of the team members today had the privilege of training under Dr. Kelso, myself included,” shared Director of Archaeology David Givens. “For me personally, it was the opportunity of a lifetime when I was asked to join the group in 2001. It’s an even greater honor, now, to lead the archaeology staff as we continue to excavate and study the birthplace of our nation.”  

In the time since the fund was established, it has raised almost $1.2 million and is still growing.

“We are overwhelmed and humbled by the incredible outpouring of support for this special fund honoring Ellen and Bill,” shared Elaine and Don Bogus, Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation trustees. “The generosity from friends all across the nation ensures the extraordinary team at Jamestown will be able to continue their ongoing archaeological investigations, related scholarly research, and the critical preservation of fort structures for years to come.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the JRF is encouraged to visit its support website.

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