By Pamela J. Cressey
Local American artifacts, dated as early as 8,000 B.C., were present in quite a few locations round Alexandria, Virginia. the positioning of a fishing camp, a bustling hub for the export of grain, and a middle of the slave alternate through the early 19th century, Alexandria is wealthy with American artifacts.
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Reviewing census data for the neighborhood, Cressey discovered that several women listed themselves as washerwomen. Others who said they "kept house" may have taken in washing as well. Many of the blacks in Hayti and the Bottoms were self-employed. They made their living as seamstresses, coopers (barrel makers), market gardeners, carpenters, and soap makers. Several ran taverns and grocery stores. Others worked in manufacturing jobs—making rope, bricks, sugar, and glass. From census records, we know that some free blacks worked in the Wilkes Street Pottery.
Before I came here most of the artifacts that were rescued from big construction sites had belonged to rich people and businesses. We're interested in finding out about the lives of everyone—blacks, Indians, Quakers, Jewish immigrants, and the Irish—and in looking at working-class taverns, factories, and so on. Now we plan ahead so archaeology is part of a development project and we can preserve some sites as parks for people to enjoy. MJA What's your favorite exhibit in the Alexandria Archaeology museum?
Tours are available. H I S T O R I C ST. org This outdoor history museum of Maryland's first capital has a large visitors' center and extensive grounds. Archaeological work has led to re-creations of colonial life at different 17th-century sites in this waterfront setting. JEFFERSON PATTERSON PARK AND MUSEUM lOHSMackallRoad St. org The Maryland Historical Trust operates this site, where visitors can explore 12,000 years of changing cultures and environment in the Chesapeake Bay region. Seventy archaeological sites have been discovered in the park.
Alexandria, Virginia (Digging for the Past) by Pamela J. Cressey
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