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March 29, 2007


WILLIAMSBURG, Va.–Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, will offer an array of daily special programming April through July to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1607 founding of America’s first permanent English colony. Guided tours of the museum’s exhibition galleries are scheduled four times daily, and guided tours of the outdoor interpretive areas – re-created Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort and riverfront discovery area – will begin every half hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitor-participatory demonstrations on agriculture, food, technology, weaponry, seamanship, trade and recreation and presentations on various historical topics will start every 15 minutes, from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The 30-to 45-minute gallery tours provide an overview of Jamestown Settlement’s new 30,000-square-foot permanent exhibition space that chronicles 17th-century Virginia in the context of its Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures. The 90-minute interpretive area tours orient participants to each of the four areas and provide opportunities to talk with historical interpreters and view ongoing demonstrations. Tours are optional, and visitors are welcome to experience the museum at their own pace or return to the galleries or interpretive areas after participating on a tour.

Among demonstrations and presentations on more than 30 different topics are “Native Plants,” in the re-created Powhatan Indian village, showing how the Powhatans used plants for tools, food and medicine; “Comparative Technology,” outside the re-created colonial fort, in which visitors learn about the technology of English, Powhatan and African cultures by using tools from each; and “Virginia’s Labor Force,” role play in the riverfront discovery area that examines the relationship between colonial attempts to make a profit and the labor force.

“Tolling of the Bell,” describing the Anglican church service during the earliest years of the Jamestown settlement, and “Origins of Anglican Faith,”explaining the development of the Church of England and its influence at Jamestown, will be presented inside the museum’s new representation of the church at Jamestown in 1610.

“Tales of the Sea Venture” will recount the story of Sea Venture, a ship that wrecked in Bermuda in 1609 en route to Jamestown.

Matchlock musket firing, scheduled every half hour, is the most often repeated demonstration. Visitor participatory tactical drills and artillery demonstrations will take place several times daily.

Guided tours and demonstrations will emphasize a different theme in each month: natural environment in April; Jamestown in May; cultures of Virginia in June; and celebration of liberty in July.

Jamestown Settlement, located on Route 31 South at the Colonial Parkway, next to Historic Jamestowne, site of the original settlement, is open 9 a.m. to 5 pm. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15. Admission is $13.50 for adults, $6.25 for ages 6 through 12. A combination ticket and annual pass are available with the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution also operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.