Site 1

 

Identified during the first week of the Plantation Archaeological Survey, Site 1 consists of a scatter of Jefferson-period artifacts and a 1971-vintage house, with associated landscape features. There can be little doubt that the modern construction has destroyed significant portions of the site. However, important clues to the Jefferson-era occupation remain in the artifact scatter.

The diffuse scatter north of the modern house is dominated by sherds of creamware, while the more intense scatter south of the house is dominated by pearlware. The contrast points to a shift in the location of the occupation from flat to more steeply sloped ground, a shift that the ceramics suggest might have been roughly synchronous with agricultural diversification in the 1790's. Documentary research shows that two enslaved African-American wagon drivers, Tom Shackleford and Phil (last name unknown), lived in the area of the northern, more diffuse artifact scatter in the 1780's and early 1790's. Our work with Jefferson's surveys of the plantation reveals that Tom and Phil lived on the edge of the "Ancient Field," which extended across the flat area to the north and down the northern slope of the mountain. In addition to the modern and Jefferson-era activity at the site, there is also evidence for an occupation from the mid to late-19th century.

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