Archaeologist Alain Charles Outlaw presents evidence of the 1610 site of Fort Charles in his talk “New Discoveries in Old Hampton” as part of the Hampton History Museum’s Port Hampton Lecture Series on Monday, January 7, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
In 1968, as a teenager in Hampton, Outlaw gained his first experience in Virginia archaeology in the midst of a massive urban renewal project in the heart of Downtown Hampton. This work exposed extensive evidence of the city's past. One of the excavations that he worked on was the site of the 1624 Elizabeth City Parish Church (known as the Second Church Site), on what is now Hampton University.
50 years later and following a professional career in Historical Archaeology including service as Virginia Commissioner of Archaeology/State Archaeologist, he returns to his hometown and the early site he observed there in the late 1960s. Outlaw revisits findings with much new knowledge from his research over the years on the buried remains and artifacts of the early 17th century.
In reviewing the documented subsurface features and artifacts unearthed in the 1968 dig, as well as historic cartography and written sources, Outlaw has determined that there is strong evidence not only the 1624 church but also the location of the earlier Fort Charles. Clues include distinctive fragile clay smoking pipe fragments that date from no later than 1610, as well as other domestic and military items that would not normally be associated with a church site.
Outlaw is Principal Archaeologist of Williamsburg-based Archaeological & Cultural Solutions, Inc. and President of the Wheatland Foundation, Inc. (501(c)3), as well as Adjunct Professor in the History Department at Christopher Newport University.
The talk is free to museum members, $5 for non-members.
The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102.