On April 9th, the Chapter first met in the auditorium of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History to hear about Historical Archaeology. Mark Joyner Gave a wonderful presentation of how he and his team restore and/or preserve historical places.

Some of the places around Pittsylvania County are old barns. They explore the area to find what is just laying around, bag and tag everything, and make strides to keep the area preserved and restore what can be restored.

While excavating sites, they would find objects such as whisky, medicine, as well as ink bottles. He advised this would tell the story of who lived there. The most common object that seemed to be found at the sites are marbles. Even in the Johnny Houses!

They also do what they can to preserve Native American sites like in the White Oak Mountain area. Mr. Joyner told us that the Native Americans in the Pittsylvania County area didn’t use teepees but huts for their shelter. They could tell which sites where for hunting and for camping by what they found. For example, some sites had pottery for containing food, water, and other objects. This indicated a camp site.

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Historical Archaeology

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Projector image of a restored building as it would have looked at the time it was built.

Projector image of a historical sign of the old town of Peytonsburg, VA.

Mark Joyner giving presentation

Mr. Joyner continued on to talk about preserving old sites, plantations and housing that have run down. Two places he talked about were Oak Hill and Peytonsburg.

Hopefully you can read the sign from the picture which can tell you better than I can the importance of the site but he told us that no one really knows for sure where the real site is. Even knowing the facts about the old town form the Revolutionary War, he was told so many different places it was located by locals that he is doing his own research. He and his team have a site in mind but did not disclose it to help preserve anything that is found. It might not be this site but another forgotten town. Good luck, Mr. Joyner.

Another fun fact he provided us is this town, if properly found and excavated, might be the most historical site found since the discovery of the Jamestown settlement.

After this interesting and insightful presentation, we made our way to the Chapter room to take care of business. One of our projects is to try to repair stones in Greenhill and Lemont Cemeteries of Civil War veterans.

We also got informed that the trip to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA was canceled because not enough people signed up for it. We have now changed the May meeting into a much needed business meeting. Visitors and perspective members are still welcomed to attend. Our meetings are always open.