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Digging Into History: Archaeology and Preservation of Virginia’s Heritage

Program Number: 15964RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Price starting at: $872.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

Working with local archaeologists, assist in the surveying, plotting, excavation and preservation of important historical sites and discover artifacts that range from primitive stone tools to Revolutionary-era pottery and Civil War buttons. You’ll get right down in the dirt to take measurements, dig and sort artifacts, and catalog your findings in the woods and fields.




Highlights

• At 17th-century sites rarely open to the public, dig side by side and glean fascinating history from experienced archaeologists.
• Enjoy lively, informative performances by musicians and “a lady of the 17th century” who will immerse you in the period you are exploring in the dig.
• Go behind the scenes with staff of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, a 20-year-old effort that located the site of the original fort, and learn about artifacts uncovered by the Project.



Activity Particulars

Extensive physical activity, working on hands and knees.




Date Specific Information

9-21-2014, 5-10-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Williamsburg (Virginia)

One of America’s first planned cities, this one-time capital of the New World was laid out in 1699, and today, the historic community serves as a well-preserved center of American Colonial history, from nearby Jamestown to impeccably restored buildings.



Accommodations
Modern hotel near historic area, indoor pool and fitness center.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Stephen Christoff

Stephen Christoff has been a musical fixture at Colonial Williamsburg for more than 15 years. Since 2006, he has performed his one-man show called "Seller of Songs" at the Hennage Theater in Colonial Williamsburg to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. In 2007, Stephen was a member of a collaborative performance team that played over 100 performances of "American Musicworks," a signature show designed for the Dewitt Wallace Galleries folk art exhibition, and also performed for the Jamestown 2007, Godspeed Sail and Landing Party Festival. He has headlined at locations including Mount Vernon, Chestertown Tea Party Festival, Virginia's Yorktown Celebration Festival, The National Portrait Gallery, The Library of Congress, The Black Swamp Arts Festival and Disney's Epcot Center.
 
Buck Woodard

Buck Woodard has been the director of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's American Indian Initiative since 2008. He has also served as an advisor to the governor of Virginia on the Virginia Council on Indians, as well as a commissioner for the National Park Service, New Line Cinema, NOVA and PBS, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Buck is currently a Ph.D. candidate in historical anthropology at the College of William & Mary, and is an adjunct instructor of anthropology for Virginia Commonwealth University's School of World Studies. Buck has been lecturer for Road Scholar since 2006.
 
John Labanish

A native of Western Pennsylvania, John earned his B.A. in history and English from St., Vincent College and his M.A. in American history from the University of Pittsburgh. He taught history, government, and English at private and public schools in Michigan and Pennsylvania. During 13 years at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, John advanced from collections registrar to curator of education and exhibits, and eventually became director. John also served as an adjunct professor of museum studies at Duquesne University. In 2008, he retired after 23 years at Colonial Williamsburg where he was involved in historic area interpretation, supervision and training of interpreters, historical building management, and first person character interpretation. Presently, John serves as a docent at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary and as a member of the James City County Historical Commission.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
  Williamsburg 5 nights
 Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Type: Hotel
  Description: Beautiful 303 room hotel, close to everything. Has recently undergone a major renovation. Located 1 mile away from Colonial Williamsburg. City bus stop just in front of hotel. Has an actual Civil War redoubt in its back courtyard.
  Contact info: 6945 Pocahontas Trail
Williamsburg, VA 23185 USA
phone: 757-220-2250
web: www.fortmagruderhotel.com
  Room amenities: Classic decor in every room plus a refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, alarm clock, iron and ironing board. Remote control TV, free cable, high speed internet data port and executive desk. Microwave and roll-away bed available at an additional cost.
  Facility amenities: Lounge, guest laundry, indoor and outdoor pools, workout room with treadmill, stationary bike, sauna and more. 24 hour Front Desk. ATM, a sundry shop and complimentary newspapers. 24 hour room service, vending and ice machines on every floor, wake-up service, restaurant, fully air-conditioned.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Rate varies depending on availability and time of year. Limited rooms. Please call the hotel directly at 757-221-6908 for reservations 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturday. If call is sent to voicemail, please leave name and number for the in-house reservation agent to return your phone call. Let the agent know you are with Road Scholar and the dates you will be with the group at the hotel.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: TBD Rate varies depending on availability and time of year. Limited rooms. Please call the hotel directly at 757-221-6908 for reservations 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturday. If call is sent to voicemail, please leave name and number for the in-house reservation agent to return your phone call. Let the agent know you are with Road Scholar and the dates you will be with the group at the hotel.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 pm Program registration begins at hotel, Check in to your room; 5:15pm Start of Program. You will be staying at Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with Farewell Luncheon, 12-1 pm You will be staying at Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. none
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Williamsburg
  Nearest city or town:  Richmond
  Nearest highway: Interstate 64
  Nearest airport:  Williamsburg/Newport News Airport (30 minutes)
  From End of Program
  Location: Williamsburg
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Williamsburg

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For train information, call 1-800-872-7245 or go to www.amtrak.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Williamsburg

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For bus information, call 1-800-231-2222 or go to www.greyhound.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Richmond

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about an hour depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45-50 miles

   

Alternate transportation from/to airport available through Groome Transportation, 800-552-7911, Virginia AirLInk LLC/Richmond Airport Shuttle, 804-372-7433, or Marrow Transit, a private car service,757-564-5466. Call for rates and reservations. If you use Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are with Road Scholar to receive possible discounts.

 

Newport News

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about 20 minutes, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 10

   

Although this is a smaller airport than Richmond or Norfolk, it is the closest and most convenient in terms of getting to and from the hotel. Besides the van service listed above, several taxi companies are also available in the ground transportation area of the airport. An alternative includes Marrow Transit (757-564-5466). Note that Williamsburg cabs can drop off but not pick up at airport. When using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 

Norfolk

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45 miles

   

Travel from this airport to the hotel (and back after the program) includes passage through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel which is frequently congested, causing long delays. The trip may well cost in excess of $100 per person one way. We recommend using Richmond or Newport News Airports if possible. Alternate transportation includes Marrow Transit (757-564-5466) or Cary Airport Connection (757-963-0433). If using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 
Driving Directions
  From Hampton Roads and points southeast: Travel west on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn left onto Route 60 West. The Fort Magruder is approximately one mile down on the left. If you reach the point where the four-lane highway narrows to two lanes, you've gone too far.
  From Richmond and points northwest: Travel east on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn left onto Route 60 West. The Fort Magruder is approximately one mile down on the left. If you reach the point where the four-lane highway narrows to two lanes, you've gone too far.
  From Southside Virginia via the Jamestown Ferry: Cross the James River on the Jamestown Ferry (no toll), exiting the ferry onto Route 31/Jamestown Road. Follow Route 31/Jamestown Road toward Williamsburg for approximately 4 miles. Turn right at the traffic light at Route 199. Follow Route 199 for approximately 3.5 miles and take the exit for Route 60. At the end of the ramp, turn LEFT at the traffic light onto Route 60 West. The Fort Magruder is approximately one mile down on the left. If you reach the point where the four-lane highway narrows to two lanes, you've gone too far.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overview of Program, Introduction to Archaeology
(Sunday, September 21)
   
 Afternoon: 4:00 pm Arrival/Check-in, program registration Class: Class: "You the Archaeologist" Start your experience with an engaging overview of the field of archaeology. Consider the purpose of the science, the tools of the trade, and the value of the discoveries. Review a number of archaeological endeavors and learn how they have informed our understanding of ages past. This presentation will give you a better sense of your role this week and the ways that you will be adding to the historical record.
 Dinner: Enjoy a good, traditional style dinner with a Southern accent, served in a private dining area. All dinners for the week will be in this venue.
 Evening: Welcome, announcements, and overview of week's activities
   
Accommodations: Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Background Presentations; Introduction to Dig Site and Preliminary Digging
(Monday, September 22)

Note: The activities today and for all other trips to the dig site will involve a lot of physical exertion. Be prepared to climb in and out of excavations, be on your knees in the dirt, and haul buckets of soil and artifacts. There may also be short hikes through fields and woods to get to the dig site. Don't forget to bring your bug spray and sun block!



   
 Breakfast: Start the day with a generous buffet breakfast in our private dining area.
 Morning: Class: "The Powhatan Indians and Their World" Enjoy a detailed look at the culture of the Eastern Woodland Indians who had occupied the Tidewater region of Virginia for centuries before the coming of the first Europeans. Their day to day lives, government, social structure and more will be discussed. Class: "James City County Archaeology" With the chief archaeologist of the sites where you will be working, explore the long history of James City County and the wealth of historically significant locations that are situated within the bounds of what was one of the original six shires of colonial Virginia.
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will be served in our private dining area.
 Afternoon: Activity: Service work at designated dig site. May include site plotting, soil removal, screening, and field cataloguing. Previous digs have explored colonial cellars, 16th and 17th century foundations, and farm sites. Participants have found everything from animal bones to buttons to pottery and wine bottles. The potential for unique and exciting finds is high.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Class: "From Ajacan to Roanoke to Jamestown, 1570-1607" Explore the very earliest European attempts to settle the Chesapeake region. Learn about the first disaster experienced by the Spanish at a site still not clearly identified. Then consider the second that saw the English in what is now North Carolina with the famous "Lost Colony". Finally investigate the settlement at Jamestown, begun in 1607, that took hold and gave the English a foothold in the New World.
   
Accommodations: Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lots of time for digging! Visit to Governor's Land Archaeological District
(Tuesday, September 23)

Note: See notes for Day Two. The field trip will involve some hiking through grassy fields.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area
 Morning: Activity: Continue archaeological service work
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch at the dig site or a nearby picnic area. Meal includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie, along with a choice of water or soft drinks.
 Afternoon: Activity: Continue archaeological service work Field Trip: "Governor's Land Archaeological District" Once again join the chief archaeologist to explore in the field some of the most significant early colonial sites on the mainland near Jamestown. This walk will give you an interactive feel for the the ebb and flow of the growing Virginia colony in the 17th century.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Free Evening: Information will be provided about concerts, tours, and other activities to investigate on your own. Among the choices is an organ concert at the historic Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg,
   
Accommodations: Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Back to the dig site; Visit from a 17th Century Lady
(Wednesday, September 24)

Note: See notes for Day Two. This will be a half day in the field, with a free afternoon to rest or explore other local sites.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area
 Morning: Activity: Continue archaeological service work
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will be served in our private dining area.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Performance: "A Lady of the Seventeenth Century" What better way to experience the 1600's than to meet someone who "lived" long ago? Enjoy a conversation with a delightful interpreter who will make you feel that you are truly speaking to an early colonist as she shares tales of triumphs, tragedies, and the mundane activities of daily existence.
   
Accommodations: Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lots of digging today! Colonial music in the evening
(Thursday, September 25)

Note: Back to the dig, with conditions similar to Day Two.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area
 Morning: Class: "Governor's Land Archaeological District" Now that you have had a chance to explore the district with your feet and senses, join with the chief archaeologist to discuss the history surrounding the area and its evolution during the past four centuries. Activity: Continue service work at dig site
 Lunch: Pause for lunch at the nearby Café at Jamestown Settlement with a box lunch of soup and salad or sandwich, chips, drink, and dessert.
 Afternoon: Activity: Continue service work at dig site
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Performance: "Early Colonial Music" Enjoy the marvelous talents of a costumed musician as he describes and plays a variety of instruments that would have entertained our seventeenth and eighteenth century forebears.
   
Accommodations: Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Visits to Historic Jamestowne and the Jamestown Rediscovery Project Labs and a farewell luncheon
(Friday, September 26)

Note: The walk around the Island will be on gravel, paved, and oyster shell paths. The round trip distance for the Project Labs and Archaearium will be a bit over a mile over gently sloping terrain. There will be a few benches on which to sit and rest.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area
 Morning: Field Trip: "Historic Jamestowne" Accompanied by a local expert, explore the island where the English were finally able to establish a permanent colony in North America. Enjoy the informative and engaging introductory film, sit in the reconstructed church, look into the ongoing dig site at the original fort. Finish with a visit to the amazing Archaearium where the incredible finds from Jamestown Rediscovery are on display. Field Trip: "Jamestown Rediscovery" Experience a behind the scenes interaction with one or more members of the staff of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. This nearly two decade old effort uncovered the site of the original fort long thought lost to erosion by the James River. The artifacts and features uncovered by the Project have vastly increased our knowledge of the Jamestown colony, both in its physical appearance and the culture of its inhabitants. (Dependent upon availability of Project staff)
 Lunch: Let us treat you to a tasty Farewell Luncheon at the hotel as our thanks for all your hard work.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Williamsburg Tidewater Area: Williamsburg/Jamestown and Yorktown
When you come to our Road Scholar program, you'll find the schedule filled with classes and extracurricular activities; your free time will be limited to only a few hours a day. We spend much of our time at the archaeological sites. There will be very little time to explore the many historical sites in the Williamsburg area. Consider staying an extra day or two at the end of the program to enjoy the local attractions. Visit our web page for links, sample schedules, hotel webpages, Colonial Williamsburg and more. For additional information, visit www.wm.edu/elderhostel
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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