A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

The Search for the Grand Contraband Camp

Friday, May 23, 2014


HAMPTON, VIRGINIA—Nicholas M. Luccketti and his team from the James River Institute for Archaeology are “cautiously optimistic” about finding a freedmen’s village where thousands of refugee slaves lived during the Civil War. So far, they have uncovered postholes and evidence of a barrel-lined well. The bucket and well left a round, dark stain surrounded by a lighter ring from the original builder’s trench. “We’re finding what looks like the sort of features we anticipated from studying the Civil War photographs of the contraband camp. We have artifacts from the right period showing up on the surface,” Luccketti told The Hampton Roads Daily Press.