The public is invited to wash and sort artifacts from recent public archaeology digs at New Quarter Park, at York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown, on February 20 from 10 am to 12 noon. Participants will gather around tables during this hands-on event to examine fragments associated with Native Americans, seventeenth-century settlers, and the occupants of an eighteenth-century manor overlooking Queen's Creek, now located near the center of the park.
Many artifacts have been uncovered during archaeological digs at New Quarter Park from 2006 to 2016 including shells, bones, bricks, plaster, glass, pottery, ceramics, and metal fragments. These discoveries led to research into previously unclear information about the park property and its occupants. Researchers believe descendants of Robert Booth, who received a grant for 400 acres of land on the south side of Queens Creek in 1652, probably owned and lived on land that is today's New Quarter Park. In 1795, Hugh Nelson, a descendant, sold the land to Nathaniel Burwell of Carter's Grove. For most of the 18th century, the Burwell family owned much of the surrounding land including a nearby slave quarter known as New Quarter (today's Cheatham Annex).
Public archaeology at New Quarter Park is conducted by The Fairfield Foundation in cooperation with York County, the York County Historical Museum, the Tidewater Virginia Historical Society, and the Middle Peninsula Chapter of the Archaeology Society of Virginia. The organizations plan to continue public archaeology dig days in 2017.
After the February 20 indoor Wash and Talk, artifact washing program will continue outdoors at New Quarter Park beginning in the spring. Registration is required to participate in the Wash and Talk events. Call York County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at 757-890-3513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
York Hall, a York County municipal building, is located on Main Street in Yorktown. New Quarter Park is located at 1000 Lakeshead Drive in Williamsburg. For more information, contact York County Parks and Recreation at 757-890-3500 or New Quarter Park at 757-890-5840.
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