Discovery! Archaeology is Colonial Williamsburg’s first blog for kids. It follows the progress of this summer’s new outdoor program called “DIG! Kids, Dirt & Discovery” in which children are working with archaeologists to excavate an 18th-century cellar. Through this blog, we can continue the conversation that started on-site. You can see what we’re working on, ask questions, even send us artwork. We hope you’ll contribute! For those of you who aren’t able to join us in Williamsburg, we hope this blog will allow you to follow the excitement.

The site selected for “DIG!: Kids, Dirt & Discovery” is the Archibald Blair storehouse, which was built around 1717. We don’t know when it was torn down, but its brick cellar still survives below the ground. In 1946, excavators uncovered that cellar, made drawings of it and then buried it again — apparently with many of its artifacts. This summer’s participants will be “re-recovering” what was left behind.

So what will we learn? Discovered 18th-century artifacts will provide a window on daily lives and activities of people who lived here long ago: what they ate, how they spent their free time, and what items they chose to buy. But we also want to learn about archaeology in the 1940s: Which artifacts did excavators think were unimportant and what does that say about what they wanted to know about the past?

How will it all turn out? Like any archaeological project, we won’t know until we dig in!


  1. Will there be any postings for this year’s dig?

    • Getting ready to start posting today. Be sure to check back SOON!

      • Hey Meredith,
        I participated in your kids dig last year and it got me thinking about archeology as a future career. On a middle school field trip to Stagville Plantation in North Carolina, I came across a metal object I think may be an artifact. I have some photos of it I’d like to show you. I know you are very busy but please consider emailing me at [email protected].

  2. I have a 12 year old daughter who wants to be an archeologist and would love to participate in this. Can you tell me more about the program? Cost? Dates?

    • Hi Aya. The 2018 season begins on May 29 and runs through September 1, Monday through Saturday. It’s a 55 minute program and involves no extra cost, though participants must have a Colonial Williamsburg ticket. Sign up takes place each morning at 9 a.m. on-site (between the Prentis Store and the Ludwell-Paradise House). Each of 4 daily sessions (9:30, 10:30, 11:30, and 1:30) is limited to 20 participants.

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