The Tidewater Virginia Historical Society and the Fairfield Foundation Team Up to Host Unique Hands-On Archaeological Dig for Community

Share Article

New Quarter Park public archaeology dig at Carter’s Grove Plantation set for April 16 and 17 and allows the community to get down in the dirt alongside professional archaeologists.

Looking for an opportunity to get down in the dirt, become an archeologist for the day and literally help dig up pieces of the region’s history? The Tidewater Virginia Historical Society (TVHS) and the Fairfield Foundation, with support from the Archaeological Society of Virginia, will hold two public archaeology dig days at New Quarter Park near Williamsburg, on what was formerly the Carter’s Grove Plantation, in York County April 16 and 17.

No experience necessary. Participants will be taught the basics of archeological excavation and supervised by professional archeologists.

“This is an incredibly unique opportunity,” said Forrest Morgan, who serves on the boards of all three organizations. “This isn’t archaeology you watch from the sidelines. This is archaeology you do yourself. This is getting your hands dirty for history.”

This event is the second hosted by the three organizations. The first, held in the fall of 2013, brought together 30 participants and unearthed “a rich assemblage of artifacts and new knowledge about the site,” said Thane Harpole, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Fairfield Foundation, a Gloucester-based non-profit dedicated to archaeology, education and preservation. “The April dig promises to be just as good.”

The TVHS and the Fairfield Foundation are committed to sharing not just the results of their excavations, but also the process of discovering the past with the community.
New Quarter Park was part of the vast landholdings of the powerful Burwell family during much of the 18th century.

Some of their nearby plantations, such as Carter’s Grove, Kingsmill, and Fairfield, have undergone extensive archaeological research. Less is known about the slave quarters, tenant houses, and other buildings that occupied New Quarter.

The initial work will focus in a small area where some previous digs uncovered colonial artifacts, and will involve archaeological survey, digging small shovel test pits, as well as the excavation of a larger test unit.

The excavations will take place in a wooded area, and will involve mildly strenuous activity such as digging and screening soil. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately. Personal accessories, like gloves and hats, should be brought by each participant. All over excavation equipment will be provided.

Children between the ages of 4 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

A documentary will be getting filmed during the dig to showcase how archeology is used to learn about the past.

Volunteers will be assigned to 3-hour blocks in the morning or afternoon, and space is limited to 40 total participants. Contact fairfield(at)fairfieldfondation(dot)org to sign up.

For more information about the TVHS, visit Learn more about the Fairfield Foundation Plantation and their other public archaeology opportunities at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stephanie Heinatz
Consociate Media
+1 757.713.2199
Email >
Consociate Media
since: 08/2012
Like >
Visit website