The Knight’s Tomb


In 1901, archaeologists excavating the 1617 Jamestown church uncovered a large black ledger stone engraved with the silhouette of knight in armor. The stone held evidence for once having monumental brasses inscribed with the deceased’s identity, coat of arms, and death date, yet these have never been recovered. Now, over a century after its discovery, recent archaeological investigations and research have revealed new clues confirming the identity of this interred individual. This paper outlines the research developed from this public conservation, restoration, and exhibition project, and reveals how central the entombed was to the direction that democracy, diversity, and race took in English America. As the earliest known ledger stone in America, the Knight’s Tomb provides tangible connections to the country’s first representative government, the development of racial slavery, and shifts in English-Virginia Indian relations as Jamestown evolved from Fort to Port.

Cite this Record

The Knight’s Tomb. Michael Lavin, Hayden Bassett, Dan Gamble, Jonathan Appell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441312)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 953