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Excavating  Surveying  Werowocomoco
The village of Werowocomoco was the residence of the Virginia Algonquin chief Powhatan and the political center of the Powhatan chiefdom during the early 1600s. The Werowocomoco Research Group is studying the history and physical remains of the site.
In the News

IT'S HERE!!!!!! -


These downloadable resources are specifically designed for teachers and students. You can find them on our Resources pages. We have sample lesson plans, posters, and instructional guides. For more information contact Danielle Moretti-Langholtz (dmoret@wm.edu) for details.

Werowocomoco NRHP -
The Werowocomoco archaeological site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. Download a copy of the nomination by visiting our downloads page

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2003 Research Report -
The official report on the 2003 excavations at Werowocomoco is now available in downloadable .pdf. The report summarizes the 2001 shovel test survey as well as the 2003 College of William and Mary fieldschool.

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The College of William and Mary

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

With Special Appreciation to Virginia's Eight State-Recognized Tribes and the Virginia Council on Indians

Support for this project has been provided by a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


In the News

Talking with Lynn Ripley...
Lynn and Bob Ripley own the site of Werowocomoco. They have graciously opened their property for archaeologists and the Virginia Indian community to conduct research and learn more about this important site. The husband and wife team are intricately involved with every aspect of the work at Werowocomoco. Listen to Lynn Ripley as she describes how she became interested in archaeology
: Lynn Ripley

Recent Findings -
Analysis of the charcoal samples from two features sampled at Werowocomoco during the 2003 field season indicates that significant landscape change was taking place prior to contact with English settlers. The excavation analysis and Carbon 14 data indicate that two parallel ditches appear to be Native landscape features dating from the first half of the 15th century (AD 1400 - 1460). This raises the possibility that the ditches played a role in defining / reflecting the village's importance well before Powhatan's arrival on the scene (indeed, prior to his birth).

Other news...
The public outreach component of this project began on February 15, 2003 when the Werowocomoco Research Group (WRG) presented a project proposal to representatives of Virginia's state-recognized tribes and the Virginia Council on Indians. Together with the property owners, the WRG hosted community's representatives at the site, allowing them to see the location first-hand. During these meetings we invited the Native community to join us as partners in planning the site's investigation. Representatives from the Pamunkey, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Nansemond, Rappahannock, and Monacan tribes attended the meetings. At our suggestion, representatives from these communities assembled an all-Native advisory board to guide WRG efforts.