Tuesday, November 28, 2023

William & Mary graduate to lead Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeology operations

Jack Gary comes to Colonial Williamsburg after serving as director of archaeology at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest for over a decade, since 2006. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)
Jack Gary comes to Colonial Williamsburg after serving as director of archaeology at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest since 2006. (WYDaily/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)

A William & Mary graduate has been named Colonial Williamsburg’s director of archaeology.

Jack Gary will join the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Collections, Conservation and Museums Division to oversee ongoing archaeological research, collections, interpretive programming and educational outreach, the foundation said in a news release.

Gary comes to Colonial Williamsburg after serving as director of archaeology at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest since 2006.

Gary graduated from William & Mary in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, college spokeswoman Suzanne Clavet confirmed.

“I am honored to lead a department with such an important legacy of historical research and outreach. Colonial Williamsburg is a massive archaeological laboratory where visitors from around the world get a better understanding of the beginnings of our country and the methods we use to study our collective past,” Gary said.

Gary’s work at Colonial Williamsburg will involve site investigations, including the annual Archaeological Field School, which is operated in partnership with William & Mary.

“Jack brings a wealth of experience and energy to his new role as Colonial Williamsburg’s director of archaeology, and we are pleased to welcome him,” said Ghislain D’Humieres, Colonial Williamsburg senior vice president of core operations.

“He joins a remarkable team that will develop new programming for our planned Archaeological Collections Building and support Colonial Williamsburg’s role as a regional center for archaeology, research and preservation.”

Gary has done research in both New York and Massachusetts, focusing on “plantation and ornamental landscapes, the material culture of marginalized communities, environmental investigations of historic landscapes and applications of geographic information systems to historical archaeology,” the release said.

With a master’s degree in historical archaeology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Gary is a co-editor of “Jefferson’s Poplar Forest: Unearthing a Virginia Plantation.”

He also served as president of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists, the release said.

“Academic research is the lifeblood of Colonial Williamsburg’s educational mission, from the Historic Area’s restoration to innovation in the site preservation and programming our guests enjoy every day,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Colonial Williamsburg’s Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president of collections, conservation and museums.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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