Derek Wheeler’s Excavations at the John Howland Homesite
The University of Virginia began renewed excavations at the site in June of 1998 under the auspices of Dr. Deetz and continued after his death, under the direction of Derek Wheeler until 2004. The excavations initially began as a summer field school, but in 2000, a week long excavation supervised by Wheeler and undertaken by a staff of Howland Society volunteers, became an annual part of the Howland’s yearly meeting. Between 1998 and 2004, 107 five by five foot excavation squares were opened up with 48 being used to re-expose the dwelling house and cellar addition that Strickland had found. A total of 25 squares were excavated at the “dew pond” and 34 were dug in the yard area around the dwelling house.
Derek Wheeler John Howland Report Appendices B (Figures), C (Tables), and D (Wheeler’s Original Report)
James Deetz and Derek Wheeler’s Excavations at the Joseph Howland Homesite
Two programs of archaeological excavations are known to have occurred at the Joseph Howland site, although illicit, but limited, pothunting occurred as well. Local residents and Howland descendants knew of the site prior to the start of Deetz’s excavations. Deetz succeeded in locating the original chimney and two cellar holes associated with the house, but was unable to discern the footprint of the building itself. Deetz’s work was followed a generation later by Derek Wheeler who focused his investigations on the yard areas to the south and west of the house itself, providing us with an unprecedented glimpse into how Joseph organized that space around his house, while Deetz’s work gave us a glimpse of the house itself.