JAMES CITY —— More than 400 years after America’s first permanent English settlement rose from the ground, archaeologists are combining local clay, loam and black needle rush grass in an experimental effort to recreate the unique method used to construct some of the colony’s earliest buildings.
The project blends archaeological evidence gleaned from Jamestown with research into the traditional mud-and-stud building techniques of Lincolnshire, England, which was the home of such key settlers asCapt. John Smith and carpenter William Laxton.
It also requires Preservation Virginia archaeologist David Givens and his Historic Jamestowne students to learn on the job, employing their eyes and fingertips in a trial-and-error attempt to unlock the lost secrets of the simple but age-old tradition of building with mud. Read more.