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Updates from Colonial Williamsburg's Archaeology Department

October 3, 2014

Crazy About Oysters!

Staff, Interns, and Volunteers gather to scrub oyster shells. Who says we don’t know how to have fun?

Last week we gathered together staff, interns, and volunteers here at CW’s Environmental Archaeology Lab to begin tackling the long process of cleaning, sorting, and analyzing more than 1,900 oyster shells recovered just from a single …

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September 18, 2014

Changing Seasons

Monday marked an important day in our archaeological calendar.

On Friday, final samples were collected from the Wren Yard Site, and on Monday morning Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeologists arrived at their offices, cleanly attired and ready to begin a new “season” of work. Archaeologists are sometimes mistakenly accused of having active and inactive times of the year. …

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September 4, 2014

What’s Brewing in the Wren Yard?


The Wren Yard Site from far above. Photo credit: Willie Graham.

Early this summer we hinted about another excavation taking place simultaneously with the Bray School project. This week we are finishing that excavation. Since mid-May Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeologists have been exposing the foundation of an eighteenth-century building on the College of William and Mary’s …

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August 19, 2014

Wrapping Up the Bray Project

Second session field school stdents at the Bray School site.

Three weeks ago, working late into the afternoon with the threat of a late summer thunderstorm ready to break at any moment, the Colonial Williamsburg / College of William and Mary field school in Historical Archaeology wrapped up its third season of excavation at the …

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August 5, 2014

Weather Permitting

After the Rain.

Just about any invitation to visit an archaeological excavation is followed by the caveat “weather permitting.” The wording may make readers skeptical of archaeology’s adventuresome reputation. Surely a bit of foul weather wouldn’t deter a real archaeologist?!  In fact, archaeologists keep a close eye on the weather, though perhaps not always for …

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July 28, 2014

An Insider’s View on Field School

Victoria working at the Bray School Site.

Each summer Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary offer two 5-week sessions of an Archaeological Field Methods course.  For the last 3 years the field school has been focused on the Bray Site, a 1760s school for African-American children. This week, we have asked Victoria Gum to write about …

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