“Archaeology” magazine has named an accidental find – the remains of a wooden 1608 church in Jamestowne, VA - one of the world’s top ten discoveries for 2010.
Preservation Virginia archaeologists were searching last year for a men’s barracks at James Fort, the 1607 site of the first permanent English colony in the New World. In the process, they found the church’s post holes.
Traces of the 1608 church are about 40 feet southwest of the later 17th century brick church and tower, the only above-ground evidence that remains of the original fort.
Excavations will continue this spring.
“The church would have been a statement about how important the colonists considered religion,” said Bill Kelso, Historic Jamestowne’s director of archaeology.
Pocahontas’ marriage to John Rolfe occurred in the church in 1614. The original church burned and was replaced by the brick church, part of which stands today.
The Jamestown story – America’s story – is at two sites within Virginia’s Historic Triangle region of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
The original church excavations are visible at Historic Jamestowne, site of the first permanent English settlement in America. The attraction is jointly administered by APVA Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service. Check the website (historicjamestowne.org) for “In the Trenches” small group tours and other events related to the ongoing digs into America’s earliest days.
Don’t miss the Archaearium. It holds a collection of objects that belonged to colonists and have been unearthed from the James Fort site.
Nearby Jamestown Settlement is an interactive experience that depicts America’s beginnings, from the founding of American in 1607 to the Revolution almost two centuries later. Museums, films and hands-on experiences with costumed historical interpreters make this attraction great for all ages.
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