15964
Williamsburg (Virginia)
Digging Into History: Archaeology and Preservation of Virginia’s Heritage
Unlock the secrets of history alongside professional archaeologists as part of a 20-year-old archeology dig, discovering the traditions, culture and roots of Colonial Era Virginia.
Program No. 15964RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,049
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Orientation, You're the Archaeologist
Williamsburg
D
Best Western Williamsburg Historic District

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Dinner: In our private dining area at the hotel, enjoy a supper with two entrées such as chicken piccata, beef stir fry, lasagna, or pan-seared tilapia, and sides including red bliss potatoes, vegetable medley, baked sweet potato, with dessert plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Start your experience with an archaeologist from the Virginia Department of Historical Resources who will give you 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. Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
17th Century Lady, Archaeology, Dig Site, Jamestown History
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Best Western Williamsburg Historic District

Activity 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 of up to a half mile through fields and woods to get to the dig site. Don't forget to bring your bug spray and sun block!

Breakfast: In our private dining area, start the day with a breakfast buffet offering choices such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, oatmeal with toppings, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, cinnamon apples, seasonal fruit, assorted cold cereals with milk, bagels with toppings, bread for toast, and juices plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: 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. With the chief archaeologist of the sites where you will be working, next 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. From prehistoric sites through the 17th and 18th centuries to the Civil War and beyond, James City County offers a treasure trove for budding and expert archaeologist alike.

Lunch: In our private dining area at the hotel, enjoy midday fare that may include entrée salads, pasta bar with toppings, or quiche, with fruit and a sweet treat such as pudding or cobbler plus coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: After lunch board our motor coach for a drive to the designated dig site. Activities 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: With an expert archaeologist, 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.

DAY
3
Dig, Governor's Land Archaeological District, Colonial Music
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Best Western Williamsburg Historic District

Activity note: See notes for Day Two. Most of this day will be spent at the dig site. The field trip will involve hiking of no more than a half mile through grassy fields.

Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area

Morning: The motor coach will again transport us to the dig site for more troweling, sifting, sorting, and discovering.

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: For most of the afternoon, continue archaeological service work. To conclude a busy day, follow 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: After a busy day in the field, conclude the evening by enjoying 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. Some of the instruments will be familiar, others quite a surprise.

DAY
4
Dig, Free Afternoon and Evening
Williamsburg
B,L
Best Western Williamsburg Historic District

Activity 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: Return by motor coach to continue the field work at the dig site during the morning.

Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will again be served in our private dining area.

Afternoon: Free afternoon

Dinner: Dinner this evening will be on your own to allow you to sample local fare and favorites.

Evening: Free Evening: Information will be provided about concerts, tours, and other activities to investigate on your own.

DAY
5
Dig, Governor's Land Archaeological District, Native Peoples
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Best Western Williamsburg Historic District

Activity note: Back to the dig for most of the day, with conditions similar to Day Two.

Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area

Morning: Now that you have had a chance to explore the district with your feet, hands, and senses, join with the chief archaeologist to discuss the history surrounding the area and its evolution during the past four centuries. After class, return by motor coach to continue service work at dig site for the rest of the morning.

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: Finish out your experience as an archaeologist with a full afternoon at the dig site. There will no doubt be a few additional treasures to uncover!

Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.

Evening: With an expert from the Colonial Williamsburg American Indian Initiative 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.

DAY
6
Historic Jamestown & Project Labs, Luncheon, Program Ends
Williamsburg
B,L

Activity 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 with a few benches on which to sit and rest. There will be short periods of standing in the lab and museum.

Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area

Morning: We will board the motor coach once more to travel to Jamestown Island. 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. Next experience a behind the scenes interaction with one or more members of the staff of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. This decades 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. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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