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HomeNews2006 Jamestown Lecture Series Opens with Kelso and The Buried Truth
2006 Jamestown Lecture Series Opens with Kelso and The Buried Truth

JAMESTOWN -- The annual Jamestown Lecture Series, featuring three lectures presented by APVA Preservation Virginia, will open with "The Buried Truth," by Dr. William Kelso, director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne, Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. in the Kimball Theater in Williamsburg.

Kelso will reveal the amazing discoveries and insights from this season's excavation at the 1607 James Fort site, including an incredible cache of artifacts recovered this fall from a 400-year-old well. Rare objects preserved by the watery well environment included a 17th-century Scottish snaphaunce pistol, a halberd with the crest of Lord de la Warr, intact leather shoes and a treasure trove of organic material that will help define the state of the environment when the colonists arrived in 1607.

He'll also discuss how archaeologists are piecing together clues about the surprisingly complex architecture that developed within the fort during the first few years of the settlement, and other new insights from 13 years of excavation at the site.

Signed copies of his recently published hardback book, Jamestown, The Buried Truth, will also be available. Author Patricia Cornwell says, "The unearthing of Jamestown is truly the autopsy of America, an amazing dissection and reconstruction of four-hundred-year-old artifacts and human remains that reveal how the first settlers spent their days, how they lived and died, and what they accomplished and suffered. Without chief archaeologist William Kelso's almost mystical vision that the original site still existed and his persistence against all odds to unearth it, we would have little to rely on but legend to tell us how modern America began. Jamestown, the Buried Truth is brilliantly written, a story and adventure unlike any other that will forever change the way we think about what happened when John Smith and his brave followers sailed to Virginia in 1607 and established the first permanent English settlement."

Ticket Information

All lectures will be held at the Kimball Theater, Merchants Square, in Williamsburg at 7 p.m., November 14 and 28, and December 12. Tickets are $9 per lecture or $25 for the series. Advance purchase is recommended. Tickets may be purchased online through our museum store or over the phone. Call 757-229-0412 or e-mail trock@apva.org for more information.

Other lectures in the series include:

November 28
LOST: Jamestown, Nevis, West Indies
Dr. Carter Hudgins
Hofer Distinguished Professor
University of Mary Washington

Not many years after the Virginia-bound expedition debated where they would hang John Smith, other colonists returned to the small Caribbean island of Nevis. They named the port in the northwest of the island, Jamestown. In 1690, a tsunami smashed the port, sweeping away the inhabitants of the town and leveling its buildings. Jamestown was lost. Archaeologists working on Nevis have delineated the boundaries of the town and recovered evidence of its rise and fall. The emerging images provide interesting contrasts to what archaeologists have learned about shape and substance of everyday life in the 17th-century Chesapeake.

December 12
British Settlement of Barbados in 1627
Dr. Frederick Smith
Department of Anthropology
College of William and Mary

In 1627, Britain established the first settlement on Barbados. Some of the first Barbadians, many of them peasants and indentured laborers from England, hoped to mirror the success in the Chesapeake. They experimented with cash crops, including tobacco, in imitation of their North American counterparts. Yet, the Barbadians were forced by necessity to explore alternatives. In the 1640s, after nearly two decades of economic stagnation, stemming in part from their inability to compete with the Chesapeake for a substantial share of the tobacco market, they embraced sugarcane and transformed their Chesapeake-like society into an economic machine that would stand unrivaled against any other New World colony during the 17th century. Archaeology at early 17th century sites in Bridgetown and Holetown, two urban centers in Barbados, highlight the role of Barbados in the emerging Atlantic World and underscore the challenges that early settlers faced on this wild and unruly colonial Caribbean frontier.

APVA Preservation Virginia is the oldest statewide historical preservation organization in the nation, dedicated to preserving and interpreting Virginia's history. The need to save Jamestown Island and other threatened historic properties was the reason the organization was founded in 1889. APVA Preservation Virginia currently owns or manages over 30 historic properties throughout the Commonwealth including Historic Jamestowne. APVA Preservation Virginia also administers the state's Revolving Fund for Historic Properties to facilitate the identification and preservation of endangered historic properties.

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