Lecture Series at Thomas Nelson Community College Commemorates Founding of Jamestown

Published: March 9, 2007

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Thomas Nelson Community College will present Jamestown 1607, a Colonial Lecture Series celebrating the historical significance and archaeological treasure-trove of America’s first English settlement. Jamestown 1607 is a series of three lecture presentations that will take place at the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium on the College’s Hampton campus.

The following presentations are free and open to the public:

A Collision of Worlds: The Indians and the English as They Were in 1607 by Helen C. Rountree
Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Alike in some ways, different in others, the Powhatan Indians and the English were on a collision course from the moment the British Islanders decided to colonize the New World. The outcome was by no means certain in Jamestown’s early years and the reasons lay not only in mistakes the English made but also in important aspects of the Powhatans’ culture.

Helen Rountree is a professor emeritus of Anthropology from Old Dominion University. She is widely acknowledged as the leading researcher and writer on Virginia Indians and one of the leading researchers on East Coast tribes. Her sensitivity to the feelings of her research subjects gained her their trust and even gratitude. She became an honorary member of the Nansemond and Upper Mattaponi tribes. Rountree helped individual Indians in genealogical studies and assisted tribes in gaining official recognition. In her many books, she presents a complete and fair picture of Indian culture. Since retiring in 1999, Rountree has continued to conduct research and give lectures.

The Archaeology of 17th Century Virginia
Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. by Nick Luccketti

Over the past 30 years, archaeologists have uncovered sites in Tidewater Virginia ranging from the early fortified settlements of colonists who first moved out of the Jamestown area to the sites of wealthy farmers that set the stage for the classic plantation system. This presentation will review the archaeological evidence of this evolution including sites such as Martin’s Hundred and Bacon’s Castle.

Nick Luccketti has over 30 years experience in Virginia working on colonial and Native American archaeological sites. Recently, he served for five years as the Senior Archaeologist supervising the excavation of James Fort for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities’ Jamestown Rediscovery project. With the James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc., Luccketti has been the Principal Investigator and/or co-author for over 100 Phase I and Phase II cultural resource management projects and treatments plans to comply with the federal National Historic Preservation Act – Session 106 regulations and Virginia Department of Historic Resource guidelines. He was also the Field Archaeologist supervising excavations of Site D and Site H at Martin’s Hundred, and the Public Hospital for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He has also conducted numerous large-scale archaeological surveys and salvage excavations for the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Luccketti is currently teaching at the College of William & Mary.

Reading History Forward: Rethinking Slavery from the Perspective of Virginia’s Charter Generation
Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. by Ira Berlin

The history of slavery in the United States is generally read backward from the point of slavery’s demise in the Civil War. It is thus a history centered on the production of cotton, life in the deep South, and African-American Christianity. Reading slavery’s history forward, from the perspective of Virginia’s Charter Generation provides a radically different understanding of slavery and the pattern of race relations associated with it.

Ira Berlin has written broadly on the history of slavery and emancipation in the United States and the larger Atlantic world. His first book, Slaves without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (1975) won the Best First Book Prize awarded by the National Historical Society. Berlin is the founder of the Freedman and Southern Society Project, which he directed until 1991. The project’s multi-volume Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation (1982, 1985, 1990 and 1993) has twice been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government as well as the J. Franklin Jameson Prize of the American Historical Association for outstanding editorial achievement, and the Abraham Lincoln Prize for Excellence in Civil War Studies of the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute of Gettysburg College.

This lecture series has been made possible with the support of the Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., the TNCC Cultural Affairs, The City of Hampton, the Hampton Arts Commission, The Newport News Arts Commission, The City of Newport News, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The York County Arts Commission and The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Additional information about the Lecture Series may be obtained by calling Victoria Mathis, Manager of the Mary T. Christian Auditorium at 825-2779.

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