‘Unraveling the Mystery of ‘Building X,’ George Washington’s Alleged Birthplace’

Author(s): Philip Levy; Amy Muraca

Year: 2014


George Washington Birthplace National Monument boasts several seventeenth-century eighteenth-century sites. Two of these have long been associated with Washington. Decades of archaeology of this landscape though has created a complicated and record, but the holy grail of the landscape has always been locating the building in which Washington was born. Over the summer of 2013 a team of researchers reexamined the record and collection associated with what in the 1930s became known as ‘»Building X»’ and has long been interpreted by the NPS as being the birthplace. This paper will present findings that show Building X’’s record to be fraught with problems. Far from matching the site’’s current interpretation, the 2013 reassessment revealed that the foundations that make up Building X had a very different story than is now told by the NPS. What we see instead is a set of structures that only make sense when set within a larger regional context. This work is of enormous import for the discussion of archaeology and the formation of public and official memory.

Cite this Record

‘Unraveling the Mystery of ‘Building X,’ George Washington’s Alleged Birthplace’. Philip Levy, Amy Muraca. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436567)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-3,03