Fredericksburg is famous for its colonial and Civil War history – but what about before that history? Decades of archaeological excavations at George Washington’s Ferry Farm have revealed millennia of human development and technology from pre-historic Native American Clovis spearpoints to 18th-century wig curlers and beyond. While our main focus rests on young George Washington's … Continue reading Five Cool Ancient Artifacts Found at Ferry Farm [Photos]
Sometimes games are just fun but sometimes games can make you or break you. This is the case with chunkey, a Native American game. Invented around 600 AD by indigenous peoples of the Cahokia region (near modern day St. Louis, Missouri), chunkey was a popular game that spread across much of North America. There were … Continue reading When Games are Serious Business: Chunkey
In this video, archaeologist Mara Kaktins demonstrates how Native Americans used plant fibers to make rope. See other experimental archaeology demonstrations during "ArchaeoFest: Exploring Ancient Technology" at George Washington's Ferry Farm on Saturday, October 26. For event details, visit here.
From late May through early August of 2019, archaeologists at George Washington's Ferry Farm were busy working in the field again, excavating a block of 18 5’x5’ units located on the east side of the Washington house. It’s not obvious today, but the area directly to the south and west of our 2019 block had … Continue reading We Really Dig History!: Summer 2019’s Excavation at Ferry Farm
In this video, curator Meghan Budinger and archaeologist Laura Galke discuss how small things like eating utensils recovered archaeologically reveal big things about the Washington family.
Porcelain is the king of all ceramics. As resilient as it is beautiful, porcelain has long fascinated many people. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), the Chinese began exporting porcelain to Europeans, who coveted the precious dishes to the point that porcelain became more valuable than gold. Europeans obsessed over how it was produced and … Continue reading Thievery, Espionage, and Fancy Dishes: Why Porcelain Was a Big Deal for the Washington Family
Editor's Note: The toys and games shown in this I Spy photo, which include artifacts recovered by our archaeologists, are now on display in the Visitor Center at George Washington's Ferry Farm. On your next visit, be sure to see if you can find all the toy and game artifacts on our I Spy list! … Continue reading I Spy: Toys & Games from the 18th to the 20th Centuries
Many visitors to George Washington’s Ferry Farm are surprised to learn that about a quarter of the 750,000 artifacts excavated by Ferry Farm’s archaeologists were created by Native Americans. However, given that indigenous people were living in the land we call Virginia for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans, it makes perfect … Continue reading Ferry Farm’s Oldest Artifact
Editor’s Note: Looking back in time, people’s personal hygiene, fashion choices, medical treatments, and more sometimes look, at the very least, bizarre, if not outright disgusting. When confronted with these weird or gross practices, our first reaction can be to dismiss our ancestors as primitive, ignorant, or just silly. Before such judgments, however, we should try … Continue reading Time for Some Trash Talk: The Social Role of Garbage at Historic Kenmore
As many of you know, the Washington house replica at George Washington’s Ferry Farm was reconstructed and furnished as accurately as possible using historic documents, paintings, letters, and, of course, archaeology. Now that the challenge of getting the house built and open to visitors has passed, it’s time to turn to the rest of our … Continue reading What’s Growing in Ferry Farm’s Garden?