Get your hands
To celebrate October's Virginia Archaeology Month, Ash Lawn-Highland,
home of President James Monroe, invites the public to participate in an
archaeological excavation. Bring history out of the textbooks and hold
it in your hands!
On Sat. Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 learn the basics of archaeological excavation and dig on the
estate. Workshop participants will learn techniques of archaeology as
they excavate, screen and wash artifacts. A tour of the Monroe home is
included, where visitors will learn about the lives of the President’s
family, as well as the many other residents of the plantation since 1799,
including the Massey family and African -American slaves and servants.
A special exhibition, "One Home, Many Stories: Archaeology at James
Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland," will showcase artifacts recovered
in previous excavations over the past thirty years. The exhibition runs
during the month of October, and can be viewed by all visitors to Ash
The theme selected by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for
this year’s Virginia Archaeology Month is "Engaging in Virginia's Past ." For a calendar of their events, you can visit their webiste: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/arch_NET/ArchMoCalendar_2007.htm
Quertermous observes, "Historical accounts and documents show that
this plantation has changed and evolved over the past two hundred years,
and we'll study some of those changes archaeologically. Plantation outbuildings
that existed during Monroe's era no longer stand, fields that were planted
with crops two hundred years ago are now dense forests, and roads used
during Monroe's time have now vanished from the landscape. Or have they?"
Workshop space is limited to 12 people per session, and reservations are
required. The workshops are recommended for ages eight to adult. Admission which
includes the house tour, exhibit and workshop, is $15 for childern and $20 for adults.
Tools are supplied, and the workshops will proceed rain or shine.
Ash Lawn-Highland is located off I-64, exit 121, past Jefferson's Monticello
at 1000 James Monroe Parkway. For information, call 434-293-9539 or or