Abstracts for SHA!

Here are the abstracts for our session at SHA.
Come see us from 11AM to 1230PM on Friday, January 6th!
Will we see you there?
I. Cracking Colchester, Virginia: an “Affair too difficult and mysterious to be unravelled.”
Chairs(s): Elizabeth Crowell (Fairfax County Park Authority), Kathleen Lowe (Fairfax County Park Authority)
In 2007, Fairfax County acquired approximately 150 acres along the Occoquan River in a Federal Lands-to-Parks program. This property, which is now the Old Colchester Park and Preserve, is a small pocket of undeveloped land in suburban Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, more than 30 archaeological sites have been identified, providing evidence of persistent human occupation from the Archaic Period, through the present day. This session will focus on current research and excavations regarding the Colonial Port Town of Colchester, whose peak dates of occupation ranged from the early eighteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. Presentations will also address new developments in Colchester’s role in the slave trade, access to material goods through international trade, and Fairfax County Park Authority’s multi-tiered outreach program. 
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Structure Information: Six presentations.
II. A Valuable Tract of Land, Situate in Fairfax County, Virginia: The Port Town of Colchester
By Maddy McCoy
The historic Port Town of Colchester was established in 1753 and can be included as one of the lost towns of tidewater Virginia and Maryland. This presentation will be a brief journey of the history of the town whilst highlighting new and significant evidence in our quest to interpret this site. 
III. Unearthing Old Colchester:  Stories of a Colonial Port Town
By: Christopher I. Sperling, MA and Kathleen A. Lowe
 The Old Colchester Park and Preserve contains a sizable portion of the mid- to late-eighteenth century colonial port town of Colchester.  A small crew of staff archaeologists from the Fairfax County Park Authority and a cadre of volunteers have been excavating various areas across the site.  The methods devised for archaeological studies on the park are intended to better understand human activity over time and space and are of particular utility for investigating a townscape.  Excavations are recovering period material culture and revealing structural and landscape features reflective of town life during the late colonial period.  The distribution of these artifacts and features is beginning to paint a picture not only of the spatial arrangement but also of the social organization of the landscape.  
IV. Behind the Wine Stained Barrels: A Tale of a Colonial Port Town and a Man Who Made Bad Wine
by Megan Veness and Robin Kuprewicz
Morris Pound was a colonial pioneer and winemaker who lived on the main street of Colchester, who tried his luck in the port town until moving to Pennsylvania.  Historic records document domestic occupation as well as winery operations on the land in the front and center of town.  In combination with the original excavations done by the George Mason University field school in the 1980s, our excavations have revealed several other structures and a possible drainage feature. This paper will discuss the features found on Old Colchester Road and how they shaped the face of old Colchester.
V. The Merchant of Colchester:  Searching for Influences of John Glasford and Co. in the Archaeological Record of an Old Port Town
By Alisa Pettitt and Elizabeth Paynter
The port town of Colchester contained one of many storehouses in the Tidewater belonging to John Glasford and Co.  By comparing the ledgers and account books with the archaeological record, patterns in access to material goods across social strata can be identified and applied to the archaeological interpretation.
VI. Public Archaeology at Old Colchester Park and Preserve: Stewardship in Action
by Aimee Wells and Jonathan Mayes
Fairfax County Park Authority’s Cultural Resource Management and Protection Section has maintained a strong public outreach program in an effort to foster stewardship of cultural resources.  As part of that program nine staff members have worked with more than seventy-five volunteers in the research, excavation, and laboratory analysis on the Colchester project. In addition, the team uses new media tools to engage the public while the project is ongoing, in an effort to communicate with and educate people who may not make the leap to volunteerism, but who may otherwise be engaged and interested. This paper discusses the rewards and challenges of FCPA’s public archaeology program from both the paid staff member, and volunteer point of view.
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About cartarchaeology

We are the County Archaeological Research Team, part of the Archaeology and Collections Branch, Resource Management Division, Fairfax County Park Authority. We are tasked with understanding and managing the cultural resources on Park land throughout Fairfax County.
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