This week’s photo of the month was provided by Mark Kostro of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. For ten weeks this summer, students enrolled in the annual Colonial Williamsburg / College of William and Mary field school in historical archaeology searched for evidence of the 18th-century Bray School, an institution dedicated to the education of free and enslaved African American children.  Between 1760 and 1765, the Bray School was housed within a wood frame dwelling house (a.k.a. Dudley Digges House) located two short blocks north of campus.  Probably constructed in the mid-eighteenth century, the Digges House survived, although substantially altered, at this location until 1930 when it was moved to make way for the construction of a new residence hall.  Among this summer’s discoveries was an eighteenth-century brick-lined well, a late eighteenth-century earthfast building located in what would have been the rear yard of the Digges House, and numerous artifacts not only from the Bray School period, but also from the various occupants of the lot before and after the Bray School was located there.  Co-directing the archaeological fieldwork is Mark Kostro of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Dr. Neil Norman of the College of William and Mary.  The Bray School Archaeological Project is one of the topics being investigated by the Lemon Project, an ongoing scholarly initiative at William & Mary focused on the 300-year relationship between African Americans and the College.

You can learn more about the excavations and see additional photographs at the Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology Facebook page.

Also, we are pleased to announce that Poplar Forest has launched a social media campaign: you can now read their new blog, become a fan of their Facebook Page, and follow them on Twitter!

This Week’s Links

The SHA lost one of our finest leaders: Roderick Sprague passed away this week. Dr. Sprague served as president of our society for two terms, in addition to winning the J.C. Harrington Medial in 1996 and the Carol Ruppe Service Award in 2004.

Paul Mullins, on his blog Archaeology and Material Culture, discusses the archaeology and politics of Ruin Porn.

The South Central Historical Archaeology Conference has a call for papers out for their conference at the University of South Alabama.

Bernard Means writes up a review of the THATCamp in Computational Archaeology that was held a few weeks ago at the University of Virginia.

Craig Lukezic writes a post about the search for Delaware’s 17th Century Fort Casimir.

Read this piece by George Miller and Robert Hunter at “How Creamware Got the Blues: The Origins of China Glaze and Pearlware”

Archaeologists at William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research have found Civil War encampments on the college’s property.

Do you have any links that you’d like us to share? Please send them are way by posting them on our Facebook wall or mentioning @SHA_Org in a tweet!

  • Wow, that’s a very interesting discovery — a brick-lined well from the 18th century! I’m curious and excited at the same time to see more of the pictures of the artifacts they have found.