In February the Jamestown Rediscovery team continued to focus their work on indoor responsibilities, but there were several exceptions.
Senior Staff Archaeologist David Givens and Staff Archaeologist Dan Smith spent several days working on the ghost frame of the post-in-ground building dubbed “the Barracks.” They added several dozen lengthy oak boards above the tie beams on the frame. The boards were 1″ by 6″ by 18’6″ long, and together they will create a shade canopy for visitors on tours during the warmer months.
Public outreach continued this month in the form off site lectures. Jamestown Rediscovery Director Dr. William Kelso spoke at Williamsburg Landing, and Senior Curator Beverly Straube made a presentation at the Colonial Williambsburg Antiques Forum. Senior Staff Archaeologists Danny Schmidt, Jamie May, and David Givens all spoke to Jamestown Settlement staff and volunteers about the latest research and excavations. Givens also spoke to the Lion’s Club and Mars Hill College, and Schmidt even talked to his son’s preschool class.
In the lab, conservator Dan Gamble has been taking x-rays of iron objects found in James Fort’s first well. If the artifact is not yet identified, x-rays may assist in that process. The x-rays will also allow the conservator to differentiate between the rust on the surface and the original metal below. This helps the conservators more quickly and carefully clear away the rust without damaging the iron. The x-ray machine and equipment we use were obtained with a Save America’s Treasures grant.
In the field, no archaeology took place during the month of February, but we were able to open the site several times during stretches of good weather. Planning is also under way to decide where the excavations will take place when we return to the field at the start of April.
In the video this month Dr. Kelso discusses the 1608 church, its significance, the graves in the chancel, the wedding of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, and what it might be like to bring the church back to life.