A Port Town in Conflict and Peace: Gloucester Town and the Forty-Third Year of Increasingly Complex Archaeology at Gloucester Point, Virginia

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  • Documents (6)

  • Beneath the Parking Lot: Centuries of History at Gloucester Point (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anna Hayden. Michele Brumfield. David A. Brown. Thane H. Harpole.

    Recent excavations on the campus of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have shed new light on multiple periods of occupation at Gloucester Point, ranging from Woodland period native communities to the 21st-century development of the area. Working in advance of a large-scale construction project, archaeologists from DATA Investigations uncovered and excavated hundreds of features, providing a detailed glimpse at patterns of early 18th-century Gloucestertown buildings, efforts to clean up...

  • Developing Long-Term Research Goals at Gloucester Point through Problem-Oriented Research (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lyle Torp.

    Fieldwork and archival research has been conducted at Gloucester Point since the mid-1970s, yet only recently has an effort begun to synthesize the data developed from this piecemeal effort. Synthesis requires a concentrated effort at compiling and organizing cartographic and historical records, not solely to develop context and create narratives for the occupants of this place over time, but also to create research questions that can be addressed with the vast amount of available archeological...

  • It's the Pits: Analysis of Civil War Camp Features at Gloucester Point, Virginia (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ashley McCuistion. Victoria Gum.

    Gloucester Point, located at the confluence of the York River and Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia, was considered a strategic military position during the Civil War. Confederate soldiers quickly recognized the importance of defending this location and constructed a battery along the banks of the river, from which the earliest shots of the of the Civil War in Virginia were fired. The Confederate army abandoned the camp a year later, and it was subsequently occupied by Union troops. The Union...

  • Mapping Gloucestertown (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thane H. Harpole. David Brown. Stephen Fonzo.

    Decades of primarily compliance-driven archaeology at Gloucester Point has turned up dozens of buildings, hundreds of postholes, and numerous cultural features that document the rise and fall of this colonial port town and scene of two major military encampments and fort-building episodes. But this evidence has been recovered piecemeal, and it has been difficult to relate individual buildings and sites to town lots and their owners. Our current research involved extensive excavations along with...

  • "They were dying in such great quantity": An archaeology of human burials at Gloucester Point (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Laura Masur.

    Human burials have been a consistent problem for archaeologists excavating in advance of development at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point. Georeferencing the location of previously identified burials served as a pilot project for a more extensive archaeological GIS. The re-examination of burial features not only reveals their approximate locations on the contemporary landscape, but also illustrates the complex history of human occupation at Gloucester Point, including...

  • Where did Gloucestertown go? Reconstructing the Disappearance of a Colonial Town (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Brown. Thane H. Harpole. Stephen Fonzo. Colleen Betti. Erin S. Schwartz.

    Despite more than 40 years of historical and archaeological research on Gloucester Point, the placement of the colonial town grid on the modern landscape is still unclear.  The piecemeal nature of projects resulted in untestable hypotheses based on individual buildings and modern landscape features, rather than stitching together archaeological data from projects from across this area.  While the construction of a comprehensive GIS is underway, and discussed next, an alternative track was...