The Montpelier Archaeology Department is active year round, doing everything from conducting surveys on the property, to archaeology excavating various sites, to processing artifacts in the laboratory. Archaeology Excavations in the 2010 field season will be focused on the "Stable Quarter," an area located between the mansion and the visitor center that not only contained the mansion stables but also a set of slave quarters. During the 2010 archaeology excavations, archaeology team members will be looking for the structural remains of the stables, excavating the yards and structures of the slave quarters, and discovering a myriad of ceramics, glasswares, and other objects used and owned by the slave community at Montpelier.
For our archaeology expeditions we have an intern facility, Arlington House, where volunteers stay. Please click on the link, right, for more information on Arlington House.
The dates for our archaeology expeditions are given in the descriptions of each of the programs below. For contacting us about our week-long programs at Montpelier, please use our contact form, selecting "Archaeology" as the contact department. Alternatively, please call Matthew Reeves, Director of Archaeology, at (540) 672-2728 x160.
Archaeological Expeditions and Excursions
The Archaeology Expedition/Excursions 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 eight 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.
There are a total of nine Archaeological Expedition/Excursion programs in the 2010 field season:
* Session 1: March 28-April 2
* Session 2: April 11-16
* Session 3: April 25-30
* Session 4: August 1-6
* Session 5: August 8-13
* Session 6: August 22-27
* Session 7: September 5-11
* Session 8: October 3-8
* Session 9: October 17-22
The schedule of each program is as follows:
Group dinner at Montpelier.
Introductory lecture, and a tour of the mansion and mansion landscape. Work begins on the archaeological site.
Excavating units, engaging in lab work (processing of artifacts and samples), and tours of the various archaeological sites on the property, including the Slave Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, plantation farm complex, Civil War encampments, and the Gilmore Farm. Daily schedule is from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., excepting during August where, due to the heat, the hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Final group dinner at Montpelier
Participants in the week-long program can choose to participate either as an Expedition Member and stay at Arlington House, or as an Excursion Member and stay at a local bed and breakfast. Click on the option you want to plan your week-long archaeology experience.
Read and watch more interesting archaeology excavations informative.