Archaeologists Search for Monticello's Stone Stable

Posted: Updated: Jun 23, 2015 04:59 PM
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Archaeologists at Monticello are digging, sifting and sorting in search of the original foundation for Thomas Jefferson's Stone Stable.

Researchers need to have a clear understanding of what the building looked like in President Jefferson's time before they can begin to restore it.

As part of a six-week summer course through the Monticello-University of Virginia Archaeological Field School, students are excavating five-foot units.

The idea is to isolate the modern layers closer to the surface, so that they're better able to recognize layers from Jefferson's time.

Ultimately, they hope to find the remains of the original structure.

"So, figuring that out depends on being able to identify, you know, a change in the color or texture of the sediment that would demarcate where we have a deposit of dirt and then a later, different looking dirt on top of it," explained Director of Archaeology at Monticello Fraser D. Neiman.

The project is one of several to restore a mountain-top area adjacent to the historic mansion, which was a street where Jefferson's slaves lived and worked.

UVA archaeologists say they're working to make the landscape of slavery more visible and understandable.

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