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June 3, 2011

Behind-the-scenes Tours Offer a Look at a Part of Historic Jamestowne That Hasn’t Seen the Light of Day in 400 Years

Special focus tours at Historic Jamestowne allow guests to see a part of America’s birthplace that hasn’t seen the light of day in more than 400 years.

During the “In the Trenches” tour, William Kelso, director of the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project since 1994, leads a group tour of the lost 1607 James Fort. Reserved spaces in this special group allow guests go beyond the ropes to walk the surface of the ground once trod by Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas – now the very soil being excavated by Historic Jamestowne archaeologists. “In the Trenches Tours” are conducted at 10 a.m. on the first and third Mondays through October except July 4 and Sept. 5.

Tickets are $30 per person that includes a one-day pass to Historic Jamestowne. Purchase tickets online in advance at or day of tour at the Museum Store at the Historic Jamestown Visitor Center.

During the “Curator’s Artifact Tour,” senior archaeological curator Bly Straube provides an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the archaeological laboratory and vault which includes a rare glimpse of the artifact collection, most of which will never go on public display. This 90-minute guided tour traces the recovery, processing and conservation of Jamestown Rediscovery artifacts. After the lab tour, guests explore the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium where galleries of selected artifacts tell the story of Jamestown's early years through archaeology. “Curator's Artifact Tours” are conducted at 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month through October. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Portions of this tour are not handicap accessible.

Tickets for the “Curator’s Artifact Tour” are $20 per person. Purchase tickets online in advance at or on day of tour at the Museum Store at the Historic Jamestown Visitor Center. A separate Historic Jamestowne admission ticket also is required.

Admission to Historic Jamestowne is $10 per adult. This Colonial National Historical Park fee also includes admission to Yorktown Battlefield. Children under age 16 are admitted free. Federal Interagency Passes and Golden Age and Golden Access passports to the National Parks are accepted. Preservation Virginia members are admitted free.

These programs are presented jointly by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Historic Jamestowne.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Preservation Virginia and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation formed a new collaboration in the fall of 2010 with the goal of connecting the histories of Jamestown and Williamsburg through compelling stories of discovery, diversity and democracy. This initiative brings together experts from Historic Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg to enhance public archaeology and create a broader, more cohesive guest experience.

Visitors to Historic Jamestowne share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology in action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site's archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. For further information, visit or call (757) 229-0412 or (757) 898-2410.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Its mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia to protect the historical sites and buildings in the Commonwealth benefiting both the Commonwealth and the nation. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121