"It was the sacred and governmental seat of Chief Powhatan."
The Commonwealth of Virginia contains some of the most important sites in the history of the United States. From the fort at Jamestowne, site of the earliest permanent British colonial settlement in the Western Hemisphere, to the restored colonial capital of Williamsburg, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home and his lesser known Poplar Forest, Virginia’s 17th, 18th, and 19th century is represented across the landscape. Add in recent archaeological discoveries at Werowocomoco, the headquarters of the Powhatan Confederacy when the British first settled at Jamestown, and Virginia’s role in the founding of the nation and the impact on the native populations is even more complete. (The illustration above of Powhatan from the 1612 John Smith map of Virginia is in the public domain.)
Protecting artifacts at Werwocomoco, archaeological excavations at Poplar Forest, and the declining fate of Colonial Williamsburg as an historical tourist attraction even as new research on the town’s enslaved population continues—all have been in the news recently. The links below give a taste of on-going efforts to discover, protect, and learn from Virginia’s historical record.
VMRC bans oystering in 40-acre site to protect Powhatan artifacts
By Tamara Dietrich
October 5, 2017
‘They Built This Town:’ The legacy of Williamsburg’s enslaved carpenters
By Steve Roberts, Jr.
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
August 2, 2017
Americans’ Declining Interest In History Is Hitting Museums Like Colonial Williamsburg Hard
By Jennifer Tiedemann and Karen Marsico
August 22, 2017
Archaeology at Poplar Forest details time before and after Jefferson
By Sydney Schaedel
The News & Advance
October 7, 2017