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Montpelier Archaeology Department
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Our #digmontpelier field school students have found numerous glass beads across the South Yard. Jewelry was one form of expression for enslaved individuals. Normally, beads would be found during the water screening process later on, but we've been fortunate enough to find them while digging in the field. #fieldschool #historicalarchaeology #trustsites #sitesofslavery #savingplaces #digva #thisplacematters #archaeology #archaeologylife
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Our #digmontpelier Field School student Hannah holds a piece of carved bone she found. It's fairly uncommon to find carved bones. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #experiencinghistory #archaeologylife #historichomes #archaeology #digva #savingplaces #thisplacematters #trustsites #history
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Another #digmontpelier field student, Kara, has just uncovered these amazing pieces of blue transfer-print pearlware! Transfer-prints differ from hand-painted patterns in that their patterns are put on ceramics via a stamp-like transfer. Sometimes, the transfer print doesn't line up perfectly, creating an irregular look to the piece. Another way to tell the difference is by noticing a speckled look on the colored portions of transfer print ceramics. #archaeology #archaeologylife #history #historicalarchaeology #trustsites #digva #thisplacematters #ceramics #frenchceramic #savingplaces #historichomes #sitesofslavery
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That is too cool for school! So happy to be associated with all these efforts. I am humbled.

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Our #digmontpelier Instagram today is being taken over by field school student Hannah James. Hannah is a sophomore at The College of Charleston in South Carolina and is majoring in Anthropology and Archaeology. She enjoys American history, being outside, and of course, Indiana Jones. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #digva #thisplacematters #savingplaces #history #historichomes #trustsites #fieldschool #archaeologylife #waterscreening
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In the mid-19th century destruction the #digmontpelier came across this historic shutterdog. The picture on the left is of our finding and the picture on the right is of a replica shutterdog on the Madison's house. This finding suggest the northern slave quarter had shutters on the windows. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #thisplacematters #savingplaces #digva #shutterdog #architecture #historichomes #history #architecturalhardware
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Nice. Not an artifact type i would have recognized before. I will now.
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Two of our #digmontpelier field school students came across this piece of molded tableware in their mid-nineteenth century context. An enslaved individual having decorated tableware or personal items could be a way to express oneself in an oppressive society. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #historichomes #history #digva #savingplaces #thisplacematters #hashtag
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Have them in circles
208 people
Mandi Ponton's profile photo
Patricia Lawrence's profile photo
Hunter Willis's profile photo
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Montpleire TaxiTo burlington's profile photo
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S.C. Koop's profile photo
 
Today is getting interesting at the #digmontpelier site! This clay marble was found in the South Yard, showing there were enslaved children here. #archaeology #archaeologylife #history #thisplacematters #savingplaces #digva #sitesofslavery #fieldschool #historichomes #historicalarchaeology #trustsites #marbles
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Today's #digmontpelier Instagram will be run by Amanda Young. She's here from Wisconsin to attend the field school. She enjoys exploring and excavating on her own property in her spare time. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #savingplaces #sitesofslavery #historichomes #history #digva #archaeologylife #experiencinghistory #fieldschool
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Check out this beautiful sherd of overglazed French porcelain found by another #digmontpelier student. It is known that dinnerware like this would have been used by the Madison's during formal events they were hosting in their home. Whats important to know is that the enslaved community could have also owned pieces like this, which they would have purchased themselves at the market. When archaeologists find pieces of overglazed porcelain like this, the artifacts are placed in their own plastic bag and labeled "do not wash". This is due to the delicate nature of glaze, which will flake off if washed. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #historichomes #trustsites #history #archaeologylife #digva #thisplacematters
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Floating is fun! Today, #digmontpelier is "floating" samples for faunal collection. We skim the water and collect anything that floats on top. What's collected is usually plant samples, like roots or wood, which are then sent away for analysis. This important step allows us to learn about plants that could have been used during the period of the site we're excavating. #archaeology #archaeologylife #fieldschool #history #trustsites #historichomes #historicalarchaeology #floating
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First week of field school done. Bring it in!! #digmontpelier #fieldschool #archaeology #teamwork #archaeologylife
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The #digmontpelier team is "rooting" to find artifacts! This copper alloy button was found underneath a root from the Madison-era Black Walnut tree we are working to protect, adjacent to our site. The heavy root network has the potential to disrupt some of our layers. #archaeology #historicalarchaeology #savingplaces #thisplacematters #digva #history #historichomes #trees #protectingthelandscape
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Have them in circles
208 people
Mandi Ponton's profile photo
Patricia Lawrence's profile photo
Hunter Willis's profile photo
Vicki Rafferty's profile photo
Matthew Sutton's profile photo
Montpleire TaxiTo burlington's profile photo
Mary Ann Savage's profile photo
Archaeovision's profile photo
S.C. Koop's profile photo
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+1 (540) 672-2728
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+1 (847) 527-7515
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Exploring James Madison's Montpelier, and American history, through archaeological excavation.
Introduction
The Montpelier Archaeology Department is a part of The Montpelier Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization in Virginia whose mission is to:
 
Inspire continuing public engagement with American constitutional self-government by bringing to life the home and contributions of James and Dolley Madison.
 
Archaeologists at James Madison's Montpelier, a 2,750-acre historic property use archaeological excavations and historic research to bring to life the every day lives of the Madisons and the 120 enslaved individuals that lived at plantation-farm and lifelong home of the fourth president of the United States and the "Father of the Constitution."