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Layers of the Past: Discoveries at Flowerdew Hundred

Image of Fortified Compound

In 1971 a farmer plowing a field at Flowerdew Hundred, on the James River, unearthed an unusual assemblage of stones. This touched off the first of many excavations at the property, opening a window into the world of 17th-century Virginia. Significant discoveries emerged, including a fort, a substantial manor home, and a palisaded Indian settlement. Additional finds have revealed much older stories--people started inhabiting this land over 10,000 years ago.

The archaeological investigations at Flowerdew Hundred have deepened our understanding of the past, revealing a narrative that incorporates the experiences of Virginia Indians, European settlers, and enslaved African Americans.

The story of Flowerdew Hundred is also the story of archaeology at work. Countless scholars, researchers, students, and curators have excavated and sifted through layers of dirt, carefully recorded their findings, consulted sources from many disciplines, and applied innovative technologies to interpret the past. As you enter the exhibition and the world of 17th-century Virginia, we invite you to engage in the process of archaeological discovery.