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September 25, 2007

CW celebrates Virginia Archaeology Month with excavation open house, lab tours and lectures

Colonial Williamsburg archaeologists invite guests to visit the recent excavation of the Ravenscroft site in the Historic Area and tour the Archaeology Laboratory during an open house 1 – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

Archaeologists will provide hands-on activities for budding archaeologists and will be available to discuss the Ravenscroft dig which involved excavation of an 18th-century cellar with the assistance of Archaeology Field School students. Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeological lab also will be open for tours. The Ravenscroft site is located in the Historic Area at the corner of Botetourt and Nicholson Streets. The Archaeological Laboratory is off Botetourt St. between Lafayette and Franklin Streets. Parking for both events is provided in the lot adjacent to the lab and along Franklin Street.

Colonial Williamsburg experts will also present three additional programs about archaeology of 17th-century sites in Virginia’s Tidewater region during October.

Staff archaeologist Andrew Edwards describes the excavation of several mid-17th century sites lying between Hampton and Jamestown during “Filling the Void: Archaeology of the Mid-17th Century in Virginia” – presented 7:30– 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the Lane Auditorium of the Bruton Heights School Education Center, located at 301 First St. These excavations – all conducted by Colonial Williamsburg archaeologists -- have helped to illuminate the period during which British colonists became distinctly American.

Window leads and roofing tiles are among the artifacts that help archaeologists map and explore the landscape of Middle Plantation, the 17th-century predecessor of Williamsburg. Kelly Ladd-Kostro, associate curator of archaeological collections, shares insights revealed by these architectural fragments in “Identifying the Town Before the Town,” presented 7:30– 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Lane Auditorium.

During the late 17th century, Tidewater Virginia became increasingly reliant on the labor of Africans and their descendants. Staff archaeologist Ywone Edwards-Ingram uses documentary evidence, housing, tools and domestic objects to explore the transition to slavery at the Rich Neck and Thomas Atkinson sites near Williamsburg in “The Tale of Two Plantations: Exploring the Archaeological Evidence of Changes in 17th-century Virginia” 7:30– 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 in the Lane Auditorium.

All Virginia Archaeology Month events conducted by Colonial Williamsburg are free and open to the public. For more information about these events or to obtain directions, please contact Meredith Poole at (757) 220-7334 or

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 tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281