Location: Orange, Virginia, United States
Over the next several years, we will be examining a number of different archaeological sites. What makes Montpelier a wonderful property for surveys and excavations is its relative undisturbed condition. All of the sites we excavate have never been plowed--and most were abandoned in the 1840s, leaving the archaeological features in pristine condition.
In the Spring of 2018, we will be excavating domestic and work sites in the South Yard of the Montpelier Mansion, where the enslaved laborers of James and Dolley Madison worked and lived during the first half of the 19th century a series of outlying quarters for field slaves as part of our on-going ensalved community study. These projects are part of a larger effort to interpret and reconstruct the South Yard slave quarter so it can be accessed by visitors.
The LEARN Archaeology Expedition program has been operating at Montpelier for a decade-and-a-half, with many of the same volunteers returning year after year. We are, however, keen to add new faces to the program. All of the scheduled programs are designed to give participants actual excavation experience on an archaeological site working side-by-side with trained professional archaeologists. We have a staff of seven archaeologists who work with participants both in the lab and in the field, which means you have personal interaction with archaeological staff and this allows you to work on sensitive features, artifacts, and deposits that normally one would not get to handle. You are treated as a member of the research team and we step you through the entire excavation process. While you are here at Montpelier, you will be engaged in lectures, take tours of various archaeological sites on the property, and of course get a tour of the mansion.
You can learn about all of our LEARN Archaeology Expeditions at the following link.
We also host two month-long university archaeology field schools. For more information on these, please see our field school web page.
For more information contact Matthew Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org
Period(s) of Occupation: Colonial and federal period
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week
Room and Board Arrangements
Participants in the Montpelier Archaeology Expedition program stay at Arlington House, an antebellum home located on the estate's historic grounds. At Arlington House, Expedition Members have access to two kitchens and laundry facilities set within a large home featuring a dining room, living room, screen porch and eight large bedrooms and five full bathrooms. Sleeping facilities are dormitory style with two rooms reserved to accommodate couples. Participants will be responsible for preparing all of their meals.
Many participants enjoy familiarizing themselves with the property and the field and laboratory procedures before arriving. We have made these readings, each of which is fairly short, available as downloads from the Montpelier website. For even more readings, check our technical report library at.