By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 | 2:15 p.m.
SURRY – Mary Anna Hartley, archaeological field manager and social media manger for the Jamestown Rediscovery team, will be at the Surry County Historical Society & Museums on March 12, 2018 to discuss some exciting developments and plans in the area. After working as an archaeologist for the team for over 12 years, the Surry native has a lot to share. She enthusiastically explained that the team is currently excavating two significant sites: the church where the General Assembly met in July 1619 and a site where one of the first African women lived.
“The major focus of our organization now is around the 400th commemoration of the meeting of the first general assembly in the western hemisphere,” she said. “We actually now know the EXACT spot where representation in this country started! We have information from excavations around the old church tower here, and we know that the first general assembly in Virginia took place July 30, 1619. Sir George Yardley, who was the governor at the time, plus a speaker and clerk were members of a small group that included representatives of local towns. This was the actual beginning of local representation.”
Archaeologist Mary Anna Hartley excavates floor tiles in the chancel of Jamestown’s brick church. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Durfor)
The second project, named The Angela Project after the woman connected with that site, is funded through a Civil Rights Initiative Grant.
“We’re Project archaeologists for the Angela site for 2019,” she added. “She is listed in a 1625 Muster for Captain William Pierce – probably her owner – and worked with his wife Joan. She is simply listed as Angela, Negro, arrived in one of the ships.”
Hartley expressed great enthusiasm for both projects, and said, “We have a lot going on with those two projects. The talk on the 12th will mostly deal with the 400th commemoration and first Africans’ arrival. But our staff is regularly out at the site weekdays, and on weekends we have an education team that does tours. The public can access the site – it’s on National Park Land – and we welcome people who want to talk with us or interpreters there as well.”
Hartley’s talk on Jamestown Rediscovery will be held on March 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Surry Recreation Center, Rte. 10, W. of Surry.