Thirty Years of Archaeological Research to be Unveiled Thursday, April 12 at The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson

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Free Event to showcase digital methods used to analyze, catalog and conserve slavery artifacts at the 1,120 acre National Historic Landmark located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Archaeologists dig at the home of President Andrew Jackson. Years of research completed at The Hermitage will be unveiled on April 12th.

The historical archaeology program at The Hermitage is one of the most important research efforts the site undertakes

The Hermitage is pleased to announce a major milestone in the history of the home of President Andrew Jackson. On Thursday, April 12th at 7 p.m., Dr. Jillian Galle of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello will reveal the results of important research into the Hermitage archaeology collection. The focus of the presentation will be the story of slavery artifacts found at the Hermitage in comparison to sites along the East Coast and in the Caribbean. Dr. Galle’s presentation will be held in the Andrew Jackson Visitor Center Auditorium at The Hermitage and is a FREE event.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Hermitage archaeology program recently completed this important cataloging, conservation, and analysis phase in a partnership with archaeological experts at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Lead by Dr. Galle, the staff, along with the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS), spent the last three years examining and conducting research into the collection for the website found at http://www.daacs.org. DAACS is designed to foster comparative archaeological research on slavery throughout the Chesapeake, the Carolinas and the Caribbean. The site’s goal is to help the public understand the slave-based society that evolved in the Atlantic World during the colonial and antebellum periods.

“The historical archaeology program at The Hermitage is one of the most important research efforts the site undertakes,” said Marsha Mullin, Vice President of Museum Services & Chief Curator, The Hermitage. “Since the 1970s numerous sites on the property have been excavated, revealing information not recorded in any written documents. The detailed cataloging information will assist us with the stories we tell visitors about the site. With the data posted on the DAACS website, it will also provide a rich source of new information for researchers in plantation life around the world.”

Currently, complete archaeological data from forty domestic sites of slavery are available to scholars and the public for free through the website. In June 2012, data from nine slave houses excavated at The Hermitage between 1974 and 2005 will join these sites to educate future generations. On April 12th, Dr. Galle will give visitors an early look at the results of this significant research before it goes live to the public in June.

More information can be found at http://www.thehermitage.com and http://www.daacs.org.

MEDIA INFO:
Interview requests for Dr. Galle and Hermitage CEO Howard Kittell can be made through emailing jnelson(at)thehermitage(dot)com or call 615-889-2941 ex 223. The Hermitage is just 15 minutes from downtown Nashville and 5 miles from Gaylord Opryland Hotel and the airport. Take I-40 east to exit 221.

ABOUT THE HERMITAGE:
The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson, is one of the largest and most visited presidential homes in the United States. In 1856, the State of Tennessee purchased the property from the Jackson family, entrusting it to the Ladies’ Hermitage Association in 1889 to operate as one of America’s first historic site museums. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with over 30 historic buildings, including restored slave cabins. Thanks to efforts of this nonprofit organization, the mansion is the most accurately preserved early presidential home in the country. The Hermitage is a national model for authenticity, conservation, and historic preservation. In recent years, new interpretive initiatives and educational programs such as archaeology and the history of slavery have enhanced the experience of some 180,000 annual visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren, from all 50 states and many foreign countries; in fact, we interpret the Hermitage mansion in five foreign languages. The property also receives 30,000 annual visits from the local community, including over 1,000 children who play Little League baseball at The Hermitage's Rotary Park. The Hermitage is a “Partner Place” with the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and a site along the National Park Service’s Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

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