The original goal of the Jamestown Rediscovery project when it launched in 1994 was to find the remains of James Fort. In the years since, Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists have successfully identified the fort as well as numerous fort-period buildings and features, but they have also uncovered a great deal of information about post-fort Jamestown.
The fort period at Jamestown was brief, from 1607 to circa 1624. Even while the fort was still in use, settlement had already begun to expand beyond it. Over the course of the 17th century, Jamestown grew into a busy port town and the provincial capital of the growing colony of Virginia. An exhibit in the Archaearium titled Fort to Port opened in 2019 and features artifacts that explore this period of transition, which laid the foundations for both democracy and slavery in the United States.
As the archaeologists continue to excavate areas that can inform us about Jamestown’s evolution from fort to port, some of their discoveries will be highlighted in this section of our website. In 2020, the team began to investigate unexcavated areas near the East Palisade and East Bulwark of James Fort, where some of the earliest expansion beyond the triangular fort took place. They will also be exploring north of the fort using GPR, which has already revealed potential features in that area. Stay tuned! You can also stay up to date on new findings by reading the monthly Dig Updates blog.
Current Excavation Area: