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December 2, 2009

“Jamestown Unearthed” broadcasts Dec. 10

Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip series continues Dec. 10 with an encore of “Jamestown Unearthed,” a documentary that examines how history is written and re-evaluated as new methods of study are introduced and archaeological discoveries offer new clues to interpreting history.

In May 1607, when 104 English men and boys first stepped onto Jamestown Island, they could not have imagined the impact their arrival would have on the future of the world. Hoping for adventure, escaping the past, longing for riches or a better life, the Jamestown colonists founded America’s first permanent English settlement – and a new nation. These early settlers would never know that everyday items they left behind, from the soles of their shoes to broken pipe stems would be excavated and examined four centuries later by Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists. What these archaeologists discovered – and how they used these clues to uncover the past – is the subject of “Jamestown Unearthed.”

The documentary was produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures in partnership with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities–Jamestown Rediscovery. The program explores historical myths and misconceptions from the perspective of modern archaeology.

Electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating PBS stations and cable channels across the country. Targeted to grades 4–8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from the colonial period to the present day.

Each electronic field trip is supported with lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for their students. All materials have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet state standards for history, technology, art and literacy. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards related to the program’s subject.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, share a project via live video Web chats, e-mail an archaeologist or call in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and live interactive television broadcasts to bring American history to life for more than one million students and four million other viewers each year. For more information and pricing, or to subscribe to the electronic field trip series, visit, call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7121