Digging the River City: Richmond Archaeology Past, Present, and Future

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  • Documents (8)

  • Archaeology and Public Memory at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew R. Laird.

    The discovery and excavation of the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site (44HE1053) in Richmond, Virginia, between 2006 and 2009 garnered more media and public attention than any other archaeological project in the city’s history.   Spearheaded by the Richmond City Council’s Slave Trail Commission, the investigations revealed the remarkably well-preserved remains of the slave-trading complex operated by Robert Lumpkin from the 1840s through the fall of Richmond in 1865, and which later served as the site...

  • Archaeology In The Waters Of The Falls Zone (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lyle E. Browning.

    Richmond is a Fall Line city. The Falls Zone extends upstream from Tidewater for 7 miles. The second transportation canal in the USA was built to circumvent the falls and to transport international cargo upstream and to transport vital goods downstream for processing. The James River Batteau was invented for riverine transport through the falls. And then there was the activity between the riverbanks. A vibrant multi-racial and multi-ethnic community used the many "rocks, islands and shoals" in...

  • A Maritime Context For Richmond And Environs; Assessment And Recommendations For Future Study (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Bruce Terrell.

    The Fall Line at Virginia's James River has drawn people from throughout human history to take advantage of the river's resources for sustenance, transportation and industry and figures in Richmond's establishment and growth over time.Often portrayed as one of North America's most historic waterways, the James' tidewater intersection with the uplands at Richmond has a maritime identity that is not often recognized. Much of the river's historic cultural landscape has been eroded by natural and...

  • Reclaiming the Landscapes of Black History in Shockoe Bottom 1695 > 1865 > 2015 (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ana F Edwards.

    The Shockoe Bottom historic district in Richmond, Virginia holds an invisible 320-year old story of Black life in Virginia that coincided with and contributed to Richmond's origins and development - from 250+ years as a slave society to the end of slavery through Jim Crow and the civil rights era. The community-based struggle to reclaim the Black history of Shockoe Bottom sought first to assert the right to learn more about their history in Richmond but was later forced to focus on protecting...

  • RVA Archaeology and the Changing Discourse of Archaeology in Richmond (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kimberly R. Allen. Terry Brock.

    Central to community conversations about the economic development of Shockoe Bottom was the general concession that any indication of significant archaeological findings would result in efforts to accommodate this possibility before development.  Recognizing that conversations about archaeology did not feature the significant "voice" of archaeologists, the community convened a day-long symposium on the history and archaeology of Shockoe Bottom.  This gathering led to the formation of RVA...

  • Scratching the Surface: Using GIS to Understand Richmond Archaeology (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jolene Smith. Ellen Chapman.

    Richmond, Virginia’s first official archaeological site record dates to 1963. In the intervening half century, the archaeological landscape has changed in physical and metaphorical ways. One important yardstick of these changes is the 1985 Richmond Metropolitan Area Archeological Survey (RMAAS), a large regional planning project conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center. This paper explores Richmond’s archaeological landscape through a Geographical Information...

  • "They Had Perfect Knowledge of…This Offensive Place": Burial Grounds and Archaeological Human Remains in Richmond’s Public Discourse (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ellen Chapman.

    In Richmond, Virginia, racial discrimination is clearly visible in the condition of historical burial grounds. Efforts to reclaim these sacred sites have generated controversy surrounding the proposed Revitalize RVA development adjacent to the city’s oldest cemetery for people of color. Recent outrage, activism, and attempts at dialogue have also occurred in relation to some archaeological collections of human remains from Richmond, while other such collections have received comparatively little...

  • The Trouble in River City (It’s Not Pool!) (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dan Mouer.

    Richmond, the capital of Virginia, former capital of the Confederate States, has a deeply buried early history and a highly troubled recent one. The oldest parts of the city sit at the base of a 7-mile long cataract through which the James River falls from the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain. Archaeological remains lie beneath flood deposits and centuries of accumulated urban debris. For decades these resources have been ignored or viewed as obstructions to development. Archaeology in the city has...