There are many more archaeological excavations going on RIGHT NOW all over the world. This week, I’ll highlight one going on at Colonial Williamsburg, in Williamsburg, Virginia.Colonial Williamsburg has a long history of archaeological work. Much of what is known about many of the site’s reconstructed villages comes from extensive archaeological research that has been conducted over the last several decades. With most new projects, an excavation is completed first to get the most accurate information on the site. Williamsburg’s Archaeological Research Division has recently completed a large project, and has already moved on to another.
The most recent excavation has been at the site of the Anderson Public Armoury. In 1776, blacksmith James Anderson became Virginia’s Public Armourer, meaning that his shop would produce various military supplies to Virginia troops. Six buildings have been reconstructed on the site-the armoury, a tin shop, a kitchen, a workshop, two storage buildings, and a privy-and their construction is based off information discovered during the excavation process, a multi-year project that was just completed in August of this year.
The Armoury’s official opening is in November, but the site has been open to visitors to Colonial Williamsburg since September.
Colonial Williamsburg’s current project is an excavation of part of an area of Market Square, which would have been the main center of town, and was used for military musters, public gatherings, protests, and a market house, which is the subject of current research and excavation. The market house was a large covered area where people would gather to buy and sell goods. There would also be an area set aside for the butchering of meat and the keeping of horses, as well as livestock meant to be sold.
It is this area that the team thinks they’ve uncovered, and not the original market house.
While there is no information currently online on this dig, there is a wealth of information on Williamsburg’s Research Division and past projects at:
There is also a blog that was kept during the Anderson Public Armoury Project at:http://research.history.org/armoury/