Where else can you work with historic ruins, 3-D models, artifacts, and drones? For the seventh year in a row, Fairfield Foundation is teaming up with Adventures in Preservation to host enthusiastic and curious preservationists who want to learn how to excavate, document, and preserve our past. The week-long experience (August 12 to 18, 2018) will include excavations on the 1694 manor house at Fairfield Plantation in Gloucester County, Virginia. As they peel back each layer of soil, “Jammers” (a pun on preservationists) will learn how to use drone photography to record our discoveries and how we then use this information to create digital and 3-D printed models of the excavation. Join us for the most exciting preservation experience around!
Participants are welcomed to the site at the beginning of the week and given an introduction to the history of the plantation, its owners, the enslaved African workforce, and the landscape they created. Our staff archaeologists then work alongside the Jammers as they excavate layers of brick rubble, soil, and artifacts to uncover how this building was built, lived in, and eventually destroyed in 1897. The process of discovery continues throughout the week, with a field trip or two to local historic sites included to keep things interesting. Kenneth Tappan, an historic brick mason from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, provides an introduction to building conservation and Jammers can work under his guidance to stabilize and rebuild portions of the historic ruin. Fairfield Foundation Digital Curator Ashley McCuistion will demonstrate how drones are used to document each layer of excavation, exposing participants to the newest technologies in site documentation. At the end of the week, Jammers focus on delving deeper into the area that interests them most.
Kenneth Tappan works with volunteer Dave Keel to repair a section of the west foundation wall
Kenneth works with AiP Jammer Sammy to repair a section of the west foundation wall
Kenneth Tappan repoints mortar as he repairs a section of the west foundation wall
Our most recent adventure in June 2018 focused efforts on the rubble layers from the southern end of the building collapse. Angie, Sammy, Savannah, Dave, and the staff removed hundreds of brick bats, mortar, and other rubble to further expose the southeast corner of the manor house. In August, we plan to continue work on the burn layer: the ash, charcoal, and artifacts on the ground surface that fateful day in 1897 when the building burned. At the same time, Kenneth will work with Jammers to repair collapsed portions of the cellar vault, and repair spalled brickwork on the foundation’s west elevation. Learn more about the adventure opportunities or book your adventure by visiting the Fairfield project page on the Adventures in Preservation website. You can also read more about previous preservation workshops at Fairfield by visiting our past blogs. We’d love for you to come work with us and experience the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of preserving an important piece of history (and flying drones, too!).
June 2018 AiP group drone selfie