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Friday, May 24, 2024

These archaeologists found some pretty interesting artifacts at Jamestown Island, and they’re showing them soon

Archaeologists Mary Anna Hartley (left) and Bob Chartrand excavating the bones they believe belong to Governor George Yeardley. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation)
Archaeologists Mary Anna Hartley (left) and Bob Chartrand excavating the bones they believe belong to Gov. George Yeardley. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation)

Some local archaeologists are hoping to show off what they’ve uncovered after a busy summer of digging in Jamestown’s soil.

Jamestown Rediscovery’s Archaeologists will lead guests through the history and archaeology of Jamestown Island, the site of the first permanent English colony in North America, as a part of Virginia Archaeology Day Oct. 13, according to a news release from Preservation Virginia.

It’s been a busy year for the archaeologists of Historic Jamestowne. They believe they’ve uncovered the grave of a colonial governor and continue to study the arrival of the first Africans in English-speaking North America.

Guests will get the chance to explore the archaeologists’ work on the island by participating in walking tours, special programs, kids’ activities and trades demonstrations.

All of the events are included with paid admission to Historic Jamestowne. General Admission is $14 for adults and tickets can be purchased at the Historic Jamestowne website.

Programs and tours offered on Virginia Archaeology Day are as follows:

  • “The Buried Truth”: 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists will describe their findings from the 2018 season inside the James Fort and the Angela Site.
  • “The Powhatan People”: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Daniel Firehawk Abbot of the Nanticoke people of Maryland’s Eastern Shore will explain the culture and lifestyles of the Tidewater Algonquians — and their dealings with English colonists. Location: Inside James Fort.
  • “Historic Trades Demonstrations”: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Two blacksmiths and a cooper will demonstrate some of the early trades practiced at Jamestown. Location: Inside James Fort.
  • “Artifact Adventures at the Archaearium”: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guests can help Jamestown curators and conservators sort through materials that were excavated from the island’s dig sites to help find shells, seeds and animal bones. Participants will learn how artifacts are studies and what clues they provide about life in the 17th century. Location: The Voorhees Archaearium.
  • “Hands on the Past!”: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Guests can try their hand at mending pottery or building their own fort, and get a chance to examine real artifacts found on the Jamestown Island. Location: The Ed Shed.
  • “Kids Dig at Historic Jamestowne”: 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. – Kids can join in some field work through a simulated archaeology dig. They will learn digging techniques, screening soil for artifacts, and learn to identify archaeological features, artifacts and soil stratigraphy. Location: Dig Box, The Ed Shed.
  • “A Tractable Trade”: Guests will be introduced to Ana Todkill, a settler who explored the Chesapeake Bay with Capt. John Smith. Todkill will teach guest how the English traded with the Virginia Indians. Location: Inside James Fort.
  • “Meet Anthony Johnson:: 10 a.m. -12 p.m. & 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. Led by historic interpreter Jerome Bridges, the National Parks Service program will shed light on the experience of the early Africans who were brought to Jamestown. Location: The river benches east of James Fort.

Archaeology-themed tours include:

  • “Archaeological Walking Tour,” 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Learn about current excavations on Jamestown Island and what some of the most significant findings have been straight from the mouth of an archaeologist. Tours begin at the Tercentennial Monument.
  • “Gallery Tour,” 12 p.m. & 4 p.m. Learn how specific artifacts were discovered and what each finding contributes to the understanding of the story of Jamestown. Location: The Voorhees Archaearium.
  • “First Africans Tour,” 2 p.m. Only one of the first nine Africans to arrive in Virginia in 1619 was identified by name. She was named Angela, and archaeologists have spent the summer studying the site where she lived. Tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument.

To learn more about the archaeology of Jamestown Island read WYDaily’s Jamestown Unearthed series.

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