Thursday, October 3, 2013

Archaeology Dig Days coming to New Quarter Park October 10 and 11


Join local historians and archaeologists as they dig up the history that lives just below the surface at New Quarter Park on October 10 and 11. The dig will be led by the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society and the Fairfield Foundation. Initial work will focus on a small area where previous digs uncovered colonial artifacts. An archaeological survey will be taken as digging continues in small shovel test pits and a larger test unit. Subsequent dig days will be scheduled depending on what is found during the initial dig.
Located three miles from Virginia's colonial capital at Williamsburg, the park was once part of a "new quarter" belonging to the Carter and Burwell families of 18th century York and Gloucester counties. Nearby family holdings included Carter's Grove, Kingsmill and Fairfield. Recent archaeological work has focused on slave quarters, tenant houses, and other buildings at these sites.
            "This is an exciting opportunity for members of the public to learn about and participate in hands-on archaeology at an 18th-centurty site just outside of Williamsburg," said Thane Harpole, co-founder and co-director of the Fairfield Foundation, a Gloucester-based non-profit dedicated to archaeology, education and preservation.
            The excavations will take place in a wooded area, and will involve mildly strenuous activity such as digging and screening soil. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately. Personal accessories such as gloves and hats should be brought by each participant. All other excavation equipment will be provided.
            Volunteers will be assigned to three hour blocks in the morning or afternoon.  Space is limited. If you would like to register or you are seeking more information, email Children between the ages of 4 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
            New Quarter Park is located at 1000 Lakeshead Drive in the northern area of York County. For more information, call York County Parks, Recreation and Tourism at 890-3513 (Monday through Thursday) or New Quarter Park at 890-5840 (Friday through Sunday). For more information about the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society, visit Learn more about the Fairfield Foundation and its public archaeology opportunities at

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