Montpelier Faunal Cataloging

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The Montpelier Foundation is the home of James Madison, the 4th President of the United States and Father of the Constitution, and is located in Orange, Virginia. It has an active historical and public archaeology program that conducts excavations at Montpelier for 9 months out of the year, in order to discover and reconstruct the original 19th century landscape. These excavations are conducted by the Montpelier Archaeology Department, which runs week long excavation programs for the public and month long archaeology field schools for archaeology students.

Excavations generate thousands of artifacts, each of which is washed, sorted, identified, and catalogued onto hundreds of catalog sheets during the winter months. This crowdsourcing project is designed to help the archaeology department data-enter these catalog sheets so they can be used for ongoing analysis of the excavated sites. This project will allow you, the public, to participate in this stage of artifact analysis. This data entry will allow our staff to conduct their analysis of the artifacts, their distributions across the site, more efficiently.

The sheets in this particular project are faunal materials collected from Dry ¼” samples that were excavated during the 2016 field season at the North Dwelling and South Kitchen. These two structures are part of the excavations of the South Yard, six structures that comprised James Madison’s domestic slave complex. These excavations are part of a 3-year project to fully excavate, interpret, and reconstruct these structures to better and more accurately tell the story of the enslaved community at Montpelier. Your help in transcribing these catalogue sheets will help us in learning more about this community some can better interpret it for our visitors.

This project is part of a series of Montpelier Crowdsourcing projects at MicroPasts, each cataloging a different type of material culture. The sheets are uploaded in batches, and a different artifact type will be available at different times! Please check back often to see which project is available!

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