News Release - October 21, 2010
Media Contact: Lisa Stites 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—Visitors can explore the Monticello plantation with a guided tour of the archaeological landscape and see Monticello artifacts in the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center Woodland Pavilion, Friday, October 22 – Saturday, October 23, during Virginia Archaeology Month. Visitors will learn about the archaeology department at Monticello, which has been working to unearth history as part of the Monticello Plantation Archaeological Survey since 1997.

“Our motto is ‘the entire mountain is the site’,” said Fraser Neiman, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s director of archaeology. “Our goal is to understand the entire plantation landscape and the linked ecological and social dynamics that played out on it during Jefferson’s lifetime.”

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, artifacts will be on display in the Woodland Pavilion and staff archaeologists will be on hand to discuss how the objects help tell the story of what was once a bustling 5,000-acre plantation owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Researchers will lead three expeditions each day to archaeological sites beyond the mountaintop perimeter. Good walking shoes and appropriate dress are recommended for the 90-minute tours that will begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. On these hikes, archaeologists will discuss their findings from various sites around Monticello and what they reveal about how the plantation functioned in Jefferson’s time.

The open house is part of Virginia Archaeology Month, a series of exhibitions and programs sponsored by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Council of Virginia Archaeologists, and Archaeology Society of Virginia.

Admission to the Archaeology Open House is free. Walking tours will begin in the Woodland Pavilion at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center. For additional information, call (434) 984-9811.