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September 15, 2011

Historic Jamestowne Lecture Series Examines Archaeological Discoveries of Three Worlds – Spain, France and England

The 2011 Historic Jamestowne Lecture Series reveals the latest discoveries of early explorers and settlers from Spain, France and England during “Tales of Three Worlds: Recent Archaeological Discoveries of de Soto in South Georgia, the French at Old Mobile and the English at Jamestown.” Each of the one-hour lectures begins at 5:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St.

The programs include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, “Hernando de Soto Slept Here? New Evidence of Earliest Spanish Exploration in the Southeast.” Dennis B. Blanton, associate curator/archaeologist, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, discusses recently discovered evidence of interaction between Spanish explorers and native Americans in the Southeastern United States. Recovery of early Spanish artifacts in southern Georgia is raising questions about prevailing interpretations of the explorer’s path. The kinds of newly discovered artifacts and their contexts are testament to a direct encounter between De Soto’s small army and residents of a Native American village – at a place where scholars had not expected it to occur. Documentary clues may identify specific individuals and places associated with the encounter during the spring of 1540.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, “Old Mobile Archaeology and French Colonization of the American Gulf Coast.” Gregory Waselkov, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama, takes a closer look at this archaeological treasure, “the Jamestown of the Gulf Coast,” and offers a rare opportunity to explore the founding of a French colony that gave birth to a Creole culture that thrives still in New Orleans and elsewhere in the region.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, “Jamestown Lost and Found: New Discoveries at the 1607 James Fort.” William Kelso, director of archaeological research and interpretation, Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Historic Jamestowne, discusses the archaeological finds from the most recent field season with yet more extraordinary discoveries: the complete “footprint” of the first Protestant church built in America (1608), clear evidence of how James Fort transformed into Jamestown and the “anatomy” of a Civil War bomb shelter. The lecture will include “in-depth” illustrated discussions of these new discoveries as well as a summary of how James Fort was initially revealed and how and what selected artifacts and eco-facts tell about both Virginia Company officials and daily life at early Jamestown.

    Tickets are $12 each or $32 for the series. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-HISTORY.

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    The lecture series is sponsored in part by The Edward Maria Wingfield Endowment Fund, established by The Wingfield Family Society to honor Wingfield as soldier, investor and Jamestown's first president.

    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.

    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.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

    The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. 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., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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