GOVERNOR’S LAND PROJECT
James City County, VA
JRIA was contracted by Dominion Lands, Inc., a subsidiary of Virginia Dominion Power, to conduct a Phase I archaeological survey of 1,440 acres at the confluence of the James and Chickahominy rivers as part of their plan to develop the property into a residential community and to meet requirements for Corps of Engineers permits and proffers made to James City County regarding cultural resources. The Phase I survey identified 94 historic and prehistoric archaeological sites on the property. Phase II evaluations were conducted on 26 sites that would be impacted by construction and were recommended as potentially eligible for nomination to the National Register.
The 26 sites included Archaic and Woodland camps and procurement areas, a Late Woodland village site, English settlement sites dating to the 1620s, and colonial and ante-bellum tenant and slave quarter sites. Phase III data recovery excavations were conducted at the primary 1620 English settlement site, a ca. 1660 tenant/indentured servant site, a ca. 1680 slave quarter, two late 18th-early 19th century quarter sites, two first half of the 19th century quarter/tenant sites, and part of the Late Woodland Pasbehay Indian village, 44JC308. The Pasbehay Indian village excavation consisted of data recovery on approximately three acres and included the excavation and documentation of 44 Native American structures and 18 burials. The data recovery excavations at 44JC308 were conducted in consultation with the Virginia Council on Indians, representatives of the Nansemond Indians, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Information obtained by the data recovery excavations at 44JC308, particularly details of structures, has been used as the principal guide in the creation of part of a Late Woodland village at Jamestowne Settlement. The skeletal remains from the burials at 44JC308 were analyzed by physical anthropologists and later re-interred near the village site in a first of its kind observance in the Virginia. Native American consultants developed the reburial conditions and ceremony that was performed and attended by members of the various Virginia tribes.