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The South Yard: Archaeology

The archaeological findings at Montpelier are the foundations on which we reconstruct buildings, plant trees, furnish rooms, and develop a better sense of the lives lived at Montpelier.

Years of physical labor, research and the passion of many helped to develop the South Yard buildings and their present day interpretation for the public. Below are just a few samples of some of the objects found by archaeologists in the South Yard. Those pieces provide a wealth of information about how those enslaved at Montpelier lived- their findings may surprise you and we hope peek your curiosity.

Please visit the Archaeology Department for more information about their work. You can even sign up to dig for yourself!

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Curator of Archaeological Collections, Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff, gives a professional look into identifying ceramics. 

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Curator of Archaeological Collections, Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff, examines personal items that we find in the archaeological record-buttons, beads, clothing fasteners, tobacco pipes and other finds that bring the past to life.

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Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff, Curator of Archaeological Collections at Montpelier, details how to identify nails, iron hinges, and cook pots by time period.