Analyzing Animal Bones from Four Slave Quarters at Montpelier

Chance Copperstone

July 6, 2014 - Over the past ten months, Chance Copperstone, an Applied Archaeology M.A. student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, has been analyzing the animal bone recovered from the Stable Quarter, South Yard, Tobacco Barn Quarter and the Field Quarter.

Discovering the Enslaved Diet: Analyzing Seeds and Charred Wood

Samantha Henderson

June 21, 2014.  This winter and spring Archaeologist Sam Henderson has spent her time analyzing plant remains collected from the three early 19th century slave quarters excavated at Montpelier as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

Archaeology Wraps up in the North Yard of the Mansion

Matthew Reeves

November 23, 2013 - The past week, Montpelier Archaeology completed its investigations in the North Yard of the mansion. They spent the last three months looking for traces of the Madison-era fenceline as it approaches the Temple and planting holes for the Pine Allee. Our archaeologists succeeded in both accounts and made many more interesting discoveries along the way!

Wrapup at the Field Quarter, Startup at the Mansion

Matthew Reeves

August 25, 2013 - The Montpelier Archaeology Department has completed excavations at the quarter for field slaves and has moved to a new surveyed at the mansion. We will be excavating at the area of the Temple more!

Update on the Quarter for Field Slaves

Matthew Reeves

July 31, 2013 - This past month has resulted in some exciting finds at the site of the quarter for field slaves. After almost a year of excavating the site to find evidence for structures, we have finally identified two features that provide clues to the location for the homes of the field slaves that worked Madison’s farm in the early 19th century.

On the Mountain and in the Field--Metal Detecting at Montpelier!

Matthew Reeves

April 18, 2013 - You all might have noticed that the tents have popped back up at the quarter for field slaves--which means spring is finally here!  

Threshing Machine Feature--2012 excavations

Matthew Reeves

During the 2012 season, the Montpelier Archaeology Department has been excavating a set of quarters for field slaves within a larger late 18th/early 19th century farm complex site.  These excavations are part of a larger research project funded by NEH to examine three different sets of slave quarters at James Madison’s plantation dating to the early 19th century.

Rebuild of Final Timber Frame in South Yard

Matthew Reeves

This week Salvagewrights completed the rebuild of the final timber frame structure in the South Yard.

Artifacts from Civil War Camps

Matt Reeves

While the department’s archaeologists have been working in the South Yard with the students of the James Madison University field school, Lance Crosby, our resident Civil War enthusiast, has been searching the woods for more evidence of Civil War encampments. By means of a systematic survey, with all finds marked and plotted using GPS, he’s made some exciting finds that we thought we would share with our readers, even if they are but the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

Dolley's Midden

Matthew Reeves

Last week the Montpelier Archaeology Department hosted our annual Work Study program with this year’s participants focusing on a trash deposit that we have located east of the Madison Temple.  On Saturday, we made an exciting find that has started to clarify the exact provenience for the deposits.  We located a fragment of the Nast china (the china Madison ordered in 1806 while Secretary of State).