Jamestown Rediscovery offers users a site devoted to the recent and continuing archaeological work undertaken at Colonial Jamestown since 1994 in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the settlement's founding (1607-2007).
To teach students the relationship of archaeology to history. To provide students with the most current information on the history of the first permananent English settlement in Virginia.
Target Student Population:
High School and college survey courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer skills. Basic knowledge about the founding of Virginia in 1607.
Type of Material:
A case study using photos, text and maps, including some archaological forms and weblinks.
To supplement the teaching of Colonial United States history. To encourage the study of archaeology as part of the study of history. The site would work well in both a survey class and in an upperlevel history course on colonial America.
Evaluation and Observation
The material is organized in a logical sequence with extensive use of pictures of the artifacts unearthed. Some background information is provided, but most of the site information deals with the "dig." The site provides users with direct access to the archaeologists at the site. The visual reconstructions are well done. The site is a learning object and is relatively easy to use.
I would like to see more information on the Virginia Indians and more background information on the first Jamestown settlers. There should be more primary documents.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Some sections pose questions, which the instructor can easily use in the classroom. Site information easily answers each question asked. The variety of material offered enables the site user to focus on one or more facets of the founding of colonial Jamestown and its first settlers. Learning objects could be created from the information provided. One of the great assets of this site is the direct link to the archaeologists who will answer questions. The extensive use of pictures and graphics make excellent teaching tools for an in-class tour of colonial Jamestown. Instructors could focus on lifestyle including food, weaponry and armor, fort and house construction, and settler survivability. The material offers learning object potential. The photographs and interactive maps are quite effective in conveying a sense of the Jamestown site directly into the classroom.
The site is not set up as a learning object but as an archaeological site. More primary documents should be included.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to navigate. No special downloads are required. The site user can easily return to the home page anytime because the icon is always at the top of each page. Icons either to the left or at the bottom of the page allow the site user to quickly advance to another section as desired. Both pictures and graphics download quickly. Color is clear and the photographs of the extensive site list of artifacts are excellent individual learning tools.
Other Issues and Comments:
The site would benefit from more information on Virginia Indians, the first settlers and what happened to each one, and, ultimately, what happened to Jamestown. Having visited Jamestown the site gives an excellent overview of the area and its history.