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Creating a Digital Landscape: GIS Analysis of the Front Yard at James Madison’s Montpelier

Author(s): Erica D'Elia

Year: 2014

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The archaeology department at James Madison’s Montpelier plans to conduct a landscape study of the mansion front yard with the dual goals of interpretation and restoration. As it stands today, the restored 19th century mansion is interpreted to the public on a 20th century landscape, presenting a problematic conundrum. The area in front of the mansion has been the focus of a gridded metal detector survey to locate remains of the original Madison carriage road and other 18th and 19th century sites. This will guide the placement of excavation units to allow us to assess the integrity of the archaeological deposits. In this paper I present a preliminary analysis of the artifact assemblage from the front yard survey relying on GIS software to identify sites for future excavation. I also discuss the survey’s implications for further restoration work aimed at improving the visitor experience and presenting a more complete picture of the plantation landscape.

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Creating a Digital Landscape: GIS Analysis of the Front Yard at James Madison’s Montpelier. Erica D'Elia. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437054)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-51,03

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America