Ever wondered how jewelry, games or tools were created before factories? Thanks to the Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology Conference, people can learn about the technology used in pre-Colonial and Colonial eras at George Washington’s Ferry Farm during ArchaeoFest on Saturday.

ArchaeoFest is part of the REARC, an annual conference for members of EXARC, a global network of experimental archaeology professionals. This is the first time the festival has been held at Ferry Farm.

Participants, during the fest, can view archaeological demonstrations and learn about the tools, objects and games created by indigenous people, those in the Colonial era, even Vikings.



The event provides insight into how life was lived by people hundreds of years ago. The fest has appeal for those interested in archaeology, as well as for children and families.

“The families always love our mock dig—which is a good way to find out about how archaeologists uncover artifacts to learn about the past,” said Jessica Burger, George Washington Foundation Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Technology. “Archaeology buffs should definitely check out the ancient technology demonstrators who will be forging Viking-era beads and bronze age tools. Other demonstrators will be highlighting how indigenous people in our region used spears for hunting, how they processed corn, and made stone tools. The Patawomeck tribe will also be on hand demonstrating and talking about their people’s ancient way of life. ArchaeoFest is definitely an event that will appeal to all ages!”

Burger said archaeologists have recovered more than 750,000 artifacts that date from the earliest human presence in North America, approximately 12,000 years ago, to the 1990s.

“We hope participants will have a better understanding of how various objects were made before the industrial revolution,” she said. “Making things by hand is a largely lost art, though there does seem to be a rekindling of interest in this type of endeavor.”

The fest promises to be both insightful and educational, providing a glimpse into the history of North America.

“History does not have to be boring,” said Alma Withers, George Washington Foundation Director of Educational Programming. “This event offers visitors unique opportunities to learn history in fun, enjoyable ways. The education and archaeology departments have partnered to create a day filled with edutainment for everyone.”

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