An Archaeological Subsurface Examination of the Area 2A Parcel on the Fort Lee Military Reservation, Prince George County, Virginia


This investigation examined the archaeological signature of unmarked subsurface archaeological features with a particular emphasis on identifying unmarked graves. Previous investigations identified potential unmarked graves in Area 2A, a parcel located within the confines of United States Army Fort Lee Military Reservation in Prince George County, Virginia. Area 2A was in the immediate vicinity of the Davis house, a prominent historical structure near the center of Fort Lee. The grounds surrounding the Davis house were locus for eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century activities focused on the Willow Seat Farm. Historical research indicated that Area 2A may have contained the Susannah Russell Cemetery, a small family burial ground that was relocated in the 1950s or 1960s. Surface reconnaissance of the project area's ground surface confirmed that no visible unmarked graves or archaeological features were present.

Removal of all the soils down to the surface of the subsoil successfully identified 135 cultural features in the project area. The vast majority of these were post molds with two wall trenches and eight utility lines also documented. No evidence of mortuary features was identified in the project area.

If the Susannah Russell Cemetery had been removed using heavy equipment, it is possible that Feature 113 was the recovery site. The cemetery's archaeological signature may have also been erased by road construction. Conversely, the cemetery may be located on the adjacent parcel northeast of Area 2A. If this parcel is to be impacted by construction, further investigations and/or construction monitoring are recommended to prevent this cultural landmark from being destroyed.

Cite this Record

An Archaeological Subsurface Examination of the Area 2A Parcel on the Fort Lee Military Reservation, Prince George County, Virginia. Hugh B. Matternes, Valerie Davis, David Price, New South Associates. 2011 ( tDAR id: 392672) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8XP75ZD

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.377; min lat: 37.222 ; max long: -77.292; max lat: 37.294 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Patty Conte

Contributor(s): Hugh B. Matternes; Valerie Davis; David Price; Bryce Stanley; Amy Wood; Mike Makin; Tabor Vess; Mark Nance; Scott Tucker; Yulounda Ralls; Jennifer Wilson; Lis Cap; Rebecca Brown; David Diener; Tom Quinn

Principal Investigator(s): Hugh B. Matternes

Project Director(s): J. W. Joseph

Permitting Agency(s): Fort Lee Regional Archaeological Curation Facility

Prepared By(s): New South Associates

Submitted To(s): Versar, Inc.; U.S. Army, Fort Lee Military Reservation, Department of Public Works

Record Identifiers

Accession Number (s): FL2011.018

Purchase Order Number(s): 007657

Primary Contract Number(s): W91236-10-F-0171

File Information

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Contact(s): Patty Conte