A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Burned Layer at Jamestown Linked to Bacon’s Rebellion
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA—The Virginia Gazette reports that new excavations at the site of the memorial church at Jamestown have uncovered intact burn deposits and several artifacts. The burned surface is thought to date to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, according to archaeologist Sean Romo, who first spotted burned deposits just below the surface of the ground at the church in 2019. He thought the deposits could be evidence of Nathaniel Bacon’s siege of Jamestown, the fire that burned the fort in 1608, or the retreat of Confederate troops in 1862. “We expected this space to be disturbed in some way, but once we took off the modern deposits, we were shocked. The fact that this site is really intact is incredible,” he said. The artifacts on top of the burn deposits include window leads dated to the period just after the 1676 fire. An investigation along the church’s eastern wall also found evidence of the construction of the brick church tower after the fire. “We have positive evidence of Bacon’s Rebellion and the burning that took place,” explained Dave Givens, Jamestown’s director of archaeology. “The nice thing about this dig is that, as it evolves, it will help us understand more about the layers and what we’re seeing every day.” To read about about work by archaeologists and tribal community members to document the traditional homeland of Virginia's Rappahannock people, go to "Return to the River."
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