Archives for the "Archaeology" Category

Sep 19, 2023

New Hire Highlight: Bella Kilper

By: Bella Kilper This past summer I had the pleasure of serving as the Summer Research Intern for the archaeology department at Poplar Forest. Having just graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Clemson University, this position was the perfect opportunity for me to continue utilizing my archaeological experience and gain new insights […]


Aug 23, 2023

Student Research Illuminates Fascinating Finds

by Erin Schwartz On July 14, Poplar Forest’s 32nd Annual Summer Field School in Historical Archaeology drew to a close. While students had learned many valuable skills in the field and in the lab, they further developed their creative and analytical skills in individual student research projects. Each student could choose an artifact they found or […]


Jul 19, 2023

2023 Field School Week 6

By: Alyssa Moorman Week 6 has come to an end, and the Poplar Forest Archaeology Field School 2023 has officially been completed. The week started with a lecture on Industrial Slavery. The lecture highlighted the use of slavery in industrial settings, even in northern states. Enslaved laborers working in industrial settings often did so either […]


Jul 14, 2023

2023 Field School Week 5

By: Taylor Gantzert At the beginning of the fifth week of Poplar Forest’s field school, students learned about the tools that archaeologists use to categorize and analyze the data collected in the field. Among the most important tools is a suite of computer programs referred to as GIS (Geographic Information Systems). These systems allow archaeologists […]


Jul 6, 2023

2023 Field School Week 4 (Part 2)

A Trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne by Nicole Finnigan While the focus of the first half of the week was on digging our units and learning about flotation, the second half of Week 4 involved a delightful and exciting two-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne. The first day of the trip […]


Jul 6, 2023

2023 Field School Week 4 (Part 1)

By Rose Hill (the happy Texan): In this week of the field school, we began each morning with a series of lectures by Dr. Proebsting on the topics of landscape archaeology and restoring Poplar Forest to the era of Jefferson’s residency. Our main goal in each of these lectures has been to understand the context […]


Jun 28, 2023

2023 Field School Week 3

By: Gill Batt This week, field school started with a tour of Monticello on Monday. The group listened to a lecture and toured the house along with the grounds. The lecture given by Fraser Neiman, the Director of Archaeology at Monticello, was on the geoarchaeology of Monticello, specifically analyzing the Paw Paw Valley site. After […]


Jun 20, 2023

2023 Field School Week 2

By: Cameron Cash This was an exciting week for the 2023 Archaeology Field School. Despite Monday’s inclement weather keeping us away from our 5 ft. x 5 ft. excavation units by the 1857 Slave Dwelling, the students were given a few fantastic lectures by Karen McIlvoy and Erin Schwartz. The students learned about the origins, […]


Jun 12, 2023

2023 Field School Week 1

By: Catherine Haines The 2023 Archaeology Field School at Poplar Forest began by learning about the history of the property, the field techniques, and touring the lab. First, the students began excavating four 2 ft. x 2 ft. test units (as part of Stable Survey 2) to continue the search for Jefferson-era stables. During these […]


Apr 17, 2023

The North Grove Ice House at Poplar Forest

Ice houses are underground pits that stored ice or snow collected during the winter to provide chilled food and beverages throughout the year. These were common within elite society in eastern North America and western Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and were among Thomas Jefferson’s many interests. He observed ice houses in Virginia […]


Mar 13, 2023

2022 Archaeology Field School

Poplar Forest was excited to once again host its Field School in Historical Archaeology last summer through the University of Virginia. We welcomed five students who learned the skills and practices essential to historical archaeology as they complete their undergraduate degrees at a variety of schools, including George Mason, Kansas State, Wake Forest and the […]


Feb 9, 2023

Artifact Spotlight: The Toy Turtle

“What is the metal turtle in that box?” It was an unexpected question, but not the strangest one I’ve been asked as the Archaeology Laboratory Supervisor for Poplar Forest. I love this type of question, though, because trying to answer it inevitably leads me down a research rabbit hole where I learn something new or […]