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Updates from Colonial Williamsburg's Archaeology Department

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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July 22, 2014

Understanding Slavery and African American History through Archaeology: The Challenges and Rewards

Archaeology plays a role in many research areas at Colonial Williamsburg, but it is an especially important component in our interpretation of slavery and African American history. Through its focus on the tangible remains of a people whose past is largely underrepresented in documents, archaeology is opening a wider window for us to examine the …

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July 9, 2014

Archaeologists vs. the Elements

Rain! Why’d it have to be rain?!

For Indiana Jones it was snakes, but most archaeologists dread weather more intensely.  There are a number of conditions that give us pause. This week we came face- to-face with two of the worst: rain and heat.

Issues with heat are likely self-explanatory, but our relationship with water is more …

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July 1, 2014

A Look at the Archaeology Lab.

Last week’s blog post described current excavation at the Bray Site where field school students are searching for evidence of a 1760s school for free and enslaved African American children. This week’s post brings you out of the heat, and into the lab. Associate Curator Kelly Ladd-Kostro walks readers through the next steps, once artifacts have been …

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