Jamestown Rediscovery launches dynamic new website

Main page of the Jamestown Rediscovery website

Jamestown Rediscovery was one of the first archaeological teams in the United States to use a website when it launched its Internet communications in 1996. Today the team unveils a dynamic new version of its website for the 21st century.

Dr. James Horn, president and chief officer of Jamestown Rediscovery, said, “The new JR website graphically illustrates the remarkable discoveries at Historic Jamestowne over the past two decades: uncovering the footprint of the lost 1607 fort, finding the first Protestant church in America, and unearthing one of the richest treasure troves of artifacts ever discovered at an early European-American site. From this enormous collection of new material, archaeologists are rewriting the history of Jamestown and early English America and reevaluating relationships with Indian peoples who lived along the James River Valley and beyond.”

The new site makes available 20 years of research into the first permanent English settlement in America.  The team led by Dr. William Kelso, CBE, FSA, director of archaeology for Jamestown Rediscovery, has found more than two million artifacts that not only illuminate the daily lives of the men and women who founded Jamestown but also the Indian and African peoples they encountered. Jamestown Rediscovery made worldwide headlines with the discovery of the original 1607 James Fort in the mid-1990s — then made more headlines with the recent discovery of the first English church in America and the unearthing of the first scientific evidence of survival cannibalism in a European colony in North America.

The new material is now available on www.historicjamestowne.org for a worldwide audience using desktop or mobile devices. Highlights include:

  • Map of Discoveries — An interactive map of Historic Jamestowne showing where significant discoveries have occurred
  • Selected Artifacts — A presentation of the most spectacular artifacts the team has found
  • Education — New lesson plans for teachers and homeschool families across America
  • Research Resources — New avenues for students to access some of the detailed study that has been undertaken, such as the Ceramics Research Group
  • JR Kids — Games and activities devoted to young people who want to explore Jamestown

The website redesign comes as part of the establishment of a new organization to support Jamestown Rediscovery—the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation—led by Horn, an expert on early Virginia and American history.  The foundation, established by Preservation Virginia, will raise funds for the ongoing success of archaeological projects, collections development, exhibits, educational programs, and special events at Historic Jamestowne.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and Jamestown Rediscovery (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Guests share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology in action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site’s archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River.  Guests can also enjoy lunch or a snack by the James River at the Dale House Café.

Preservation Virginia, a private nonprofit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations.