Alexandria, Virginia (Digging for the Past) by Pamela J. Cressey

By Pamela J. Cressey

Local American artifacts, dated as early as 8,000 B.C., were present in quite a few locations round Alexandria, Virginia. the location of a fishing camp, a bustling hub for the export of grain, and a middle of the slave alternate throughout the early 19th century, Alexandria is wealthy with American artifacts.

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Volunteers now receive training so that they can work on excavation sites and in the museum laboratory. People visiting the museum get to see volunteers in action, while they painstakingly restore a broken teapot or demonstrate how Indians made their stone tools. Developers build new structures while archaeologists strive to preserve the past. This could make it hard for them to work together. However, development can also provide an opportunity to discover alexandria, virginia / 34 While excavating the Stonegate site, archaeologists discovered broken and unfinished tools as well as quartz and quartzite flakes, which had chipped off during the tool-making process.

Mr. Johnson walked me around town, telling me what he'd seen as a young man. I felt as if I were in his mind's eye, seeing the town in the early years of the 20th century. The greatest moment was when he told me that the black neighborhood we were excavating was once called Hayti. What a thrill to know this! MJA Have you seen any changes in the approach to archaeology? PJC Yes. Before I came here most of the artifacts that were rescued from big construction sites had belonged to rich people and businesses.

PJC I am privileged to communicate with so many different people—longtime residents, developers, planners, volunteers, and students. Everyone can become involved in community archaeology so we can all make connections between the past and the present. My favorite project is the Alexandria Heritage Trail—a 23-mile loop of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, where people travel by foot or on bikes through nearly 10,000 years of history. 43. Glossary artifact An object that was made by a person.

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