For 2022, the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeology team will continue excavating on the north side of the historic Church Tower. In 2021, the team uncovered intact deposits related to the construction of the Tower (ca. 1680) capping earlier ground surfaces. The lowest historic layer was the ca. 1607 ground surface, where features related to James Fort began to appear. The current excavation area should contain a part of the eastern palisade wall for the 1607 Fort, as well as buildings from the same time period. In 2022, the team will expand their excavations to uncover more of these intact deposits and ultimately expose the 1607 ground surface.

One of the main goals of exploring this area is to better understand the interactions between the English colonists and the Powhatan Polity, the conglomeration of 32 tribes that controlled the entire Coastal Plain of Virginia. From 1607 to 1609, relations between the English and Powhatan were wary but largely peaceful. The Powhatan saw the English as potential tributaries and trading partners, and supported the fledgling Jamestown colony by trading food. The English had dreams of empire, but needed the Powhatan to survive. One of the archaeological features in the project area is a large pit, filled with both English and Powhatan artifacts. This pit probably dates to 1610, and excavations into it will hopefully shed light on the interactions between these two cultures, before the start of the Anglo-Powhatan War in the winter of 1609-10.

In addition, the archaeology team will begin excavations in the field north of the Memorial Church. This field has been largely unexplored, but should hold interesting archaeological features dating to the 1600s. The team plans on utilizing ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to help identify features and promising excavation areas.

Dig Update Archive, 2004-present

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