First Colony Foundation Archaeologists Participate in International Conference

Eric Klingelhofer and Bly Straube attended the British-based Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology conference held in St John’s, Newfoundland. The conference, held from 16-19 June commemorated the 400th anniversary of Newfoundland settlement, was entitled “Exploring New World Transitions: from Seasonal Presence to Permanent Settlement.” The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology intends to publish selected papers from the proceedings of the conference in its occasional publication series. FCF organized the session entitled “Roanoke and Jamestown,” which comprised papers by Eric Klingelhofer and Nicholas Luckketti (Archaeological evidence of Elizabethan activities at Roanoke), Carter L. Hudgins and William Kelso (The earliest James Fort period, 1607-1610, at Jamestown), Beverly Straube (From the Newe Forte in Verginia: The material culture of England’s colonial ventures at Roanoke and Jamestown), and Carter C. Hudgins (Copper, chemistry, and colonization: the roles of non-ferrous metals at Jamestown and Roanoke). Carter L. Hudgins read Carter C. Hudgins’ paper, an act of paternal kindness. Both Carters are noted archaeologists of the early colonial period and have been part of several of FCF excavation teams, and Bly Straube is curator for both Jamestown and Roanoke artifacts.
The conference was hosted by Memorial University, in St John’s, and its organizer was professor Peter Pope, best known for his long-time archaeological study of the fishing industry that began not long after the island’s discovery during John Cabot’s 1496 voyage. The international nature of the conference and the conferees led to many fruitful discussions of comparative sites and material culture.

The conferees also attended the opening of the provincial museum’s exhibit on the founding and early settlement of Newfoundland, a site visit to the excavations at Lord Calvert’s Ferryland colony, and a site visit to the excavation of the first permanent settlement, John Guy’s of 1610 at Cupid’s Cove. The weather, unusual for Newfoundland, was without gales or storm warnings.

Most interesting was the line of barrels under the water, that had comprised the walling for the first wharf for the narrow coastal site of Ferryland, preserved because it was soon buried by a larger, stone walled wharf. The similar provenance of a barrel and a hollow log at Roanoke has led to speculation that they had a similar function as the Ferryland barrels, but there is not enough evidence to make a convincing argument.

Phillip W. Evans
First Colony Foundation