Archaeology helps recreate picture of eve of the American War of Independence

The public can see a virtual representation of colonial Williamsburg, a city where independence began, as it appeared just before the American Revolutionary War.

Archaeology isn’t only about excavating and recovering artifacts and buildings from the past. The extensive, ongoing research and analysis that comes from the archaeological investigation of historic and prehistoric sites can help inform computer graphics professionals and artists to create a visualization of what the past looked like—in essence, make the past come alive far beyond words on a page or computer screen.

This is what the experts with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation have done with the countless sets of information acquired through many years of research on the artifacts and structures excavated through archaeological investigation at the site of colonial period Williamsburg in southern Virgina, in addition to careful and intense research of historical documents. And anyone interested in the events related to the 18th century struggle of American colonists for independence from Britain can thank those experts for the viewing opportunity afforded at the website for Colonial Williamsburg, the one-time capital of the Virginia colonies and a major seat of British power before war broke out in 1776.


williamsburg1751capitolThe second Capital of Williamsburg (completed 1753), as it appeared on the eve of the American Revolution. The reconstructed building seen by tourists today represents the first, earlier version of the Capital, which was destroyed in a fire. Courtesy Digital History Center, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, from the article, Imaging History in a Revolutionary Town, by Meredith Poole.


Words cannot substitute for experience, so here is the website for the reader’s enjoyment.

See a related article, Imaging History in a Revolutionary Town by Meredith Poole, published in the June 2013 issue of Popular Archaeology Magazine.



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