We are excited to announce that starting on Sunday, March 30th,
will be starting a 5 to 6 weeks Archaeological Survey at Belle Grove Plantation!
Douglas Sanford of the University of Mary Washington will be heading up this survey. He has given us some information about his department (Department of Historic Preservation) to share.
“We are one of about 8 undergraduate programs in historic preservation in the United States. We are the oldest (founded in 1984) and largest undergraduate historic preservation program. Our Department also is distinctive in that we employ an interdisciplinary approach to historic preservation, blending the theories and methods of archaeology, architectural history and conservation, museum studies, and preservation planning. Most American historic preservation programs, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, do not include archaeology and museum studies. We also are well known for blending text and classroom-based learning with practical, hands-on experience. Our students conduct historical research with period documents; photograph, measure, and draw historic buildings; work on archaeological sites; and, engage in developing museum exhibitions.
The students I will bring to Belle Grove are enrolled in our introductory archaeology course, Historic Preservation 207: American Archaeology. One requirement of the course is to work one day in the field, learning some of the basic methods for archaeological survey, sampling, and excavation. In cooperation with local landowners, the primary goals of our testing operations are to identify and document suspected archaeological sites, to sample those sites to gather further information about the site’s date, use, and its surviving artifacts, features, and building remains; and, to provide information to the landowners to encourage the future study, preservation, and management of these archaeological sites and materials.”
They will be doing work around our historic 1720 – 1750 Summer Kitchen, Ice House and Smokehouse. They will also do some test digs along the road way where our 1856 map showed the slave quarters were located. We are so excited to see what they will find!
Make a point to stop by over the next 5 to 6 weeks and see what progress they are making and what they find!